Residents and local officials gathered at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in downtown Pensacola Tuesday, for a look at the proposed new bridge over Pensacola Bay.
Representatives from the Jacksonville-based consulting firm Reynolds, Smith and Hills unveiled the most current plan using the so-called west-central corridor to the Project Advisory Group -- 14 members representing local government, business and residents.
Ian Satter with DOT says the new bridge would feature some major changes – both aesthetic and practical -- from what’s now on the 54-year-old span.
Florida’s Department of Transportation is busy these days preparing a long-term plan to widen U.S. 98 to six lanes. But any such project remains well down the road.
DOT’s Ian Satter says the work is aimed at the portion of highway from Avalon Boulevard to Gulf Islands National Seashore. The rights-of-way acquisitions are part of the agency’s Five Year Work Program -- which has U.S. 98 improvements planned for next year, 2016 and 2017.
But when it comes to FDOT’s budget to build the additional lanes, he says for now, they’re running on empty.