Navarre – During a special meeting in Milton the BoCC decided to ask Ian Satter of the Florida DOT to reevaluate widening a portion of Hwy 98 to six lanes sooner than the expected timeline of 2027. Members of the board expressed concern that Milton might miss out on the sudden growth of tourism in the south end. “There’s only a few miles of tourism down there and we need to get these visitors to the beach quickly” one commissioner was overheard remarking after the meeting.
Gov. Rick Scott is said to be behind this project after recently losing his Enterprise Florida program. “We are always happy to throw money at projects that seem to promote wasteful spending in a grand way” said Scott.
Satter said they had already started a study and was able to give a short presentation the following week to the BoCC. “We like to do studies, even if they don’t make sense” commented Satter. “We even do studies to plan how to do studies. We will skip the public presentation and start construction as earlier as next summer and have the public comment period the following year.”
The FDOT study plan calls for widening Hwy 98 from Sunrise Dr. to Rosewood Dr. at the county line. The 8.3 mile long project is expected to cost $86 million and take 4 years to finish.
Due to the traffic problems along this section of Hwy 98 and the required high flow of visitor traffic that tend to travel in the left lane several new lights will have to be added. Satter explained that with 6 lanes to cross many intersections will become uncrossable without a signal device. Another concern will be the speed along the newly widened section. FDOT normally recommends a speed limit of 35mph for high density roadways with an abundance of side streets. Satter doesn’t see a problem with how traffic normally exceeds the speed limit in this area. Satter feels with all the new traffic signal lights it will be very hard to even get to the newly posted 35 mph speed limit.
Most of Navarre Park will also have to be removed to make way for the extra lanes and keep an adequate turn lane for Navarre Bridge. This is a small concern for the BoCC but Satter alleviated their fears by assuring the board a study could be started to build an elevated park over the widened highway,
Satter included a list of locations for the new signal devices. “These are key locations or high population density accesses” explained Satter. “We feel people would be less uptight if they had to sit at a traffic light than not being able to get into or out of their neighborhood”
The location of the 27 new or updated traffic signals going east to west will be.
- Rosewood Dr.
- Crescent Woods Dr.
- Orion Lake Dr. (existing)
- Nina St.
- Whispering Pines Blvd. (existing)
- Fox Den Dr.
- Walmart Supercenter (existing)
- Biscayne Blvd.
- Panhandle Trail (existing)
- Elks Way
- Ortega St.
- Winn Dixie Shopping Center (existing)
- Granada St.
- Navarre Bridge (existing)
- Hwy 98/Hwy 87 intersection (existing)
- Publix Shopping Center
- Andora St. (existing)
- Blue Tip Dr.
- Navarre School Rd. (existing)
- Cayo Grande Apartments
- Coral St. (existing)
- Harvest Village Ct. (west entrance)
- Lowe Rd.
- Shannon Rd.
- Serosa Dr.
- Cotton Bay Lane
- Sunrise Dr. (existing)