WASHINGTON AND HOLMES COUNTIES - For residents of Washington and Holmes counties roads, are always a major concern. While both counties have finished road projects over the last year, there are still more on the horizon for 2017.
Motorists should expect those orange construction barrels to be a steady part of the scenery on State Roads 77 and 79 as four-laning of the two arterial highways is set to continue well into 2017.
The last segment of construction on SR 79 began with a 20-mile stretch of road that extends from Interstate 10 in Bonifay to south of Vernon. According to Florida Department of Transportation, that $95 million project probably won’t be the end of widening for SR 79.
Widening of the stretch from a mile north of the Wausau city limits to County Road 276 (Clayton Rd.) will is ongoing at a cost of $26.2 million for the project. Also underway is the advancement of the $30.5 million project to four lane the road from just north of Sunny Hills to a mile south of Wausau.
Washington County completed a two lane paving project on 3.1 miles of Lucas Lake Road along with three miles of two lane paving on Roche Road. Both were funded by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) under the Small Community Outreach Program (SCOP) grants.
State Road 2 and State Road 2A were completed in Holmes County over the past year. The roads were widened and resurfaced with funding from FDOT. The paving for Old Mount Zion Road was completed at the end of last year. The erosion prevention has been completed as well, all that remains to be finished is the laying of sod on the roads shoulders. This project was also funded by FDOT.
Thomas Drive in Holmes County is nearing completion on the 3.5 mile resurfacing and 1,000 foot of new construction project. The project has gone over budget which has the county requesting additional funds from FDOT to cover the costs of the SCOP project.
Tobe Retherford Road is lined up to be funded for SCOP this year but the county is facing easement issues with some of the residents on the road. Should the easements not be granted the county will lose the funding.
Holmes County will be submitting two roads each for SCOP and Small County Road Assistance Program (SCRAP) and one for the County Incentive Grant Program (CIGP).
Flowing Well Road and County Road 179 from Washington County line to the Alabama state line will be submitted for SCOP.
County Road 181 from County Road 179 to State Road 81 and John Clark Highway will be the submissions made for SCRAP.
Holmes County’s choice for CIGP submission this year is Henry Gray Road from State Road 90 to Sandpath Road.
In Washington County, Kirkland Road is being funded by FDOT under CIGP. Plans are ninety percent complete on the resurfacing with drainage improvements project. The project is expected to go out for bid in about 45 days.
Four miles of dirt on Kent Road is ready to be surveyed, so work can begin on the 1.1 million dollar FDOT funded project.
Washington County also has two roads each being submitted for SCOP and SCRAP this year.
Cope Road and Bonnett Pond Road are SCRAP submissions for resurfacing projects. Greenhead Road from Fox Pond Road to State Road 77 and River Road from the end of the pavement to Porter Pond Road are being submitted for SCOP to be paved.
Both Washington and Holmes Counties have several projects lined up for the next year with hopes of putting some of the citizens concerns to rest.