Florida Department of Transportation

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As Hurricane Irma, still a strong Category 4 storm as of Friday evening, continues to barrel toward South Florida, state and local officials have ramped up efforts to help those fleeing the devastating storm.

For the past week, Florida Governor Rick Scott has been traveling the state urging all residents to be prepared for Irma. On Friday, he conducted briefings in Tampa, Ft. Myers and West Palm Beach. At more nearly 400 miles across, Irma will impact almost every part of the state. 

Four hundred and fifty eight years after being sunk by a hurricane in Pensacola Bay, archeologists are working to make sure some undiscovered ships in Tristan de Luna’s fleet won’t face a new, twenty first century threat.

Three of de Luna’s vessels, of the six scuttled by the hurricane in 1559, have been discovered and are under investigation, including one discovered in 2016. There is speculation that the other three could be in the general area of the new Bay Bridge construction site.

Sandra Averhart / WUWF Public Media

The Florida Department of Transportation is wrapping up a series of workshops in Escambia County. The classes are designed to help small, minority-owned companies seeking to do business with FDOT.

The day-long sessions are being held on Fridays over a five-week period, ending March 3. They were available at no charge to companies already designated or wanting to be designated as Disadvantaged Business Enterprises or DBE’s.

Ground Is Broken on Pensacola Aerospace Facility

Oct 30, 2016
Dave Dunwoody, WUWF Public Media

Two years after the initial announcement, and four months after the original start of production, ground was broken Friday on an aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul facility at Pensacola International Airport.

Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward served as master of ceremonies, to announce plans for a 173,000 square foot hangar on 19 acres adjacent to the airport – making the city part of the aerospace landscape.

City of Pensacola

  While many are excited about the design proposals for the new Pensacola Bay Bridge, one Pensacola City Council member is not among them. 

Along with serving on the Council, Brian Spencer is also an architect and developer. He views the bridge project in that light, as well as an interested observer.

“I’ve been able to travel to many different cities, both in the United States as well as abroad,” said Spencer. “And find more often than not, cities provide these bridges as a signature to a community, a district, or a city.”

Skanska USA

  New York-based Skanska USA is a step closer to getting the contract to replace the current Pensacola Bay, also called Three Mile Bridge, that opened in 1960. 

Tentative approval was given Monday in Milton by a three-member committee of Florida Department of Transportation officials. At just under $399 million, Skanska bested four other firms. FDOT spokesman Ian Satter says it’s now on to the next step.

Florida Department of Transportation / http://www.pensacolabaybridge.com/documents/2015-09/2015-09-pensacola-bay-bridge-industry-forum.pdf

Florida’s Department of Transportation is mulling over the possible release of proposed plans for a new Pensacola Bay Bridge ahead of schedule

For now, the release of the five competing plans for the $460 million project is set for July 18 at FDOT’s Chipley office. Scoring of the plans is set for announcement July 7 in Milton. Neither date is sitting well with Gulf Breeze Mayor Matt Dannheisser, who says they reflect a lack of public input.

Plans to improve the Pensacola landing of the new Bay Bridge will be on display Tuesday evening.

The meeting at New World Landing downtown will introduce the project, go over the design process and gather public input. And, according to Ian Satter at the Florida Department of Transportation, clear up any confusion.

“This meeting is for the U.S. [Highway] 98 at Bayfront Parkway at 17th Avenue intersection,” Satter says. “It has nothing to do with the Pensacola Bay Bridge project. This is a completely separate study that we’re conducting.”

pensacolabaybridge.com

Three major bridge projects in the Pensacola area are underway, including replacement of the 56-year-old span linking Pensacola to Gulf Breeze.

Construction began last September on two of the projects. Ian Satter at the Florida Department of Transportation says one involves the widening of, and improvements to, the Escambia Bay Bridge on Interstate-10.

Photo via Flickr// Mike Mozart / https://flic.kr/p/nPpf9p

Santa Rosa County’s gas tax doubled on New Year’s Day: from $0.06 to the maximum $0.12 per gallon.  The hike is expected to bring in millions for county road projects, which may not be enough.

County Commissioners approved the levy on two votes in September. The first for a five-cent local option gas tax increase and the second for a penny raise, called the “ninth cent.”

Google Maps

  Pensacola-area residents get one more chance, on Tuesday, to comment on a feasibility study on changing State Road 196, that is, Bayfront Parkway.

The focus is on the stretch of Bayfront from Tarragona Street to East Chase Street, and how to improve safety, maintain access to the Port of Pensacola, and providing access to travelers in the area.

Sandra Averhart

Santa Rosa County residents have until this Tuesday, September 15 to comment on four proposed alternatives for relieving traffic congestion on a six mile section of U.S. Highway 90 through Milton.

The need is clear, but there remains a great divide over which option will be most the beneficial to the city with the least amount of impact.

It is the two-lane stretch of U.S. 90 - in the heart of downtown Milton - that’s at the center of debate over what should be done to alleviate the overloaded roadway,

Google Maps

Travelers driving through the Pensacola area are advised to use caution, when approaching and going through a pair of major bridge projects.  

Work on the Escambia Bay Bridge on Interstate-10 began last week, at a cost of $38.6 million.

“[Construction] probably will last about nine months; there will still be two lanes of traffic in that area, they’ll just be a traffic shift,” said Ian Satter at the Florida Department of Transportation in Quincy.

Florida DOT

  

  

Representatives from the Florida Department of Transportation will be in Milton Tuesday night, to unveil proposals for fixing the bottleneck on U.S. 90 in downtown Milton. But, not everyone’s on board.

Four plans are on the table, says F-DOT’s Ian Satter, who adds that this is but one of several expansion projects across the district.

Bob Barrett / WUWF News

The Florida Department of Transportation has begun looking at ideas for changes on a major downtown Pensacola roadway. Ian Satter, a spokesman for the Florida department of Transportation says the department is studying ways to increase safety and mobility on Bayfront Parkway. "There are a lot of options out there that we presented to the public".

Ft. Walton Beach Mulls New Bridge Options

May 14, 2015
Danielle Freeman

Okaloosa County residents recently got a look at the Florida Department of Transportation’s latest plans for replacement of the Brooks Bridge in Fort Walton Beach. It’s early in the process, but already there are some mixed feelings about what’s being considered.

The Florida-Alabama Transportation Planning Organization (TPO) hosted a series of public workshops this week on the 2015 Transportation Project Priorities. The sessions provided an opportunity for residents to help determine a transportation game-plan for the area over the next 25 years.  

FDOT Holds Public Forum On Brooks Bridge

Apr 23, 2015
Google Maps

Brooks Bridge in Fort Walton Beach is nearly 50 years old and in need of replacement.  The issue will be the subject of a public forum hosted by the Florida Department of Transportation this Thursday evening at the Emerald Coast Convention Center. Multiple options are being considered.

Brooks Bridge was constructed back in the mid 1960’s, a 4-lane steel and concrete structure built to carry traffic along U.S. 98 over Santa Rosa Sound between downtown Fort Walton Beach and Okaloosa Island.

Major road projects, and their price tags, are forcing the Santa Rosa County Commission to explore new ways to pay for them. One possible solution is raising the county’s gasoline tax.

Commission Chairman Don Salter says the need stems from the loss of road project money from the Florida Department of Transportation's Small County Outreach Program. Once providing more than $7 million, or 75% of funding for eligible projects, the payouts ended when the county’s population grew beyond eligibility standards.

Photo via Flickr//chapstickaddict / https://flic.kr/p/2EUmPd

If some investors in the Garcon Point Bridge get their way, travelers will pay a higher toll. That’s part of the agenda for Thursday’s meeting between a state lawmaker and investor representatives on Thursday.

State Rep. Doug Broxson, a Republican from Gulf Breeze, will sit down with attorneys from New York Melon Bank – who along with its traffic advisor FTI Consulting represent the bondholders. In November they requested that the toll go from the current $3.75 to five dollars.

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