Bay Parkway construction underway
New road should be completed by the end of 2016
For the past few months, construction has been going on just off Highway 79 in Panama City Beach. Crews are working on a bypass for Back Beach Road. Council members voted a little while back to call the new road Bay Parkway.
“We’ve been under construction, probably going on about four months now,” said Mario Gisbert, the City Manager.
While the project had been an idea for years, Panama City Beach Council officials brought it to fruition a few months ago. They approved the 1.4 miles construction from Highway 79 to Pier Park Drive at a cost of around $3 million.
“When they did their traffic study, the leg that we’re doing right now is a 7 percent increase,” said Gisbert. “And that’s a huge feat for them.”
The city doesn’t want to stop at Pier Park Drive. The hope is to expand the road out to Nautilus Street.
“We have never looked at it going any further east,” said Gisbert. “DOT has a 30-year plan where they have that roadway going all the way from the Hathaway Bridge all the way into Walton County. But that is an FDOT project. That is not a city of Panama City Beach initiative.”
The road should be completed by the end of 2017.
“By the time our tourist season kicks back in next year, this will be a fully functional road,” said Gisbert.
The project is a partnership between four different entities – the city, Bay County, St. Joe Company who donated the land and FDOT who will be providing the traffic light on State Road 79.