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FDOT announces update on “Around The Mound” project in Downtown Fort Walton Beach as study begins

On Tuesday, February 28, 2023, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) announced the kickoff of the Project Development and Environment (PD&E) study for the “Around the Mound” project in Downtown […]

FDOT

On Tuesday, February 28, 2023, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) announced the kickoff of the Project Development and Environment (PD&E) study for the “Around the Mound” project in Downtown Fort Walton Beach.

  • The proposed conceptual improvements include State Road 30 (U.S. 98) from S.R. 189 (Beal Parkway) to the west end of Brooks Bridge and north along S.R. 85 to south of Hollywood Boulevard.

According to FDOT, the PD&E study is the formal process that develops and compares alternatives to determine a preferred action that meets project needs while minimizing impacts to the social, natural, and physical environments.

  • The purpose of this study is to address capacity and safety issues and re-route U.S. 98 around the downtown core in Fort Walton Beach.

The PD&E study is based on the recommendations of the City of Fort Walton Beach Downtown Master Plan (May 2019) and the FDOT Feasibility Study (August 2020). The study will include developing conceptual alternatives for roadway capacity, intersection, and bicycle/pedestrian improvements. According to FDOT, potential impacts associated with the alternatives will be analyzed, documented and presented for public input.

FDOT

FDOT will collect and analyze data over the next several months to help develop project alternatives. Maps, drawings, and additional details will be provided as they become available for review.

  • The alternatives public meeting is anticipated to be held in early 2024.

The “Around the Mound” project aims to improve safety and reduce congestion in the area by creating a bypass around the downtown area, while enhancing the overall aesthetic of the downtown area.

  • The project involves the construction of a new roadway and the installation of new infrastructure, such as traffic signals and pedestrian crossings.

The PD&E study will provide a critical step in the process of re-routing Highway 98 around the Indian Temple Mound museum in Downtown Fort Walton Beach.

5 Responses

  1. Are the powers that be, REALLY going to pursue Around The Mound projects? I am a local resident having been here since 1955, and have read repeatedly about this very project. How much more will I read while people recreate the wheel, all on the taxpayers nickel? It is years past the time when action should have been taken.

  2. Will there be designated parking areas for persons who wish to park and take part in the activities, shops, etc-

  3. And by parking – I mean designate parking areas on the north side as there is parking on the south side- going to drive this today- seems very reasonable and surely much safer for the downtown area to be relieved of this traffic burden through areas that need to be more pedestrian friendly- and safe!

  4. Talk is cheap, action costs money. For 30 years I have served on studies, worked at the Chamber of Commerce, served on the Municipal Planning board for 8 years, and always the action was to kick the can down the road. I guess it was my fault.

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Community Comments

“1B................Let FWB grow.”
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“Amazing article!!! Jared Williams is an incredible writer and this article captures the incredible things happening in our community! Thank you Jared! Linda Dugan”
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“Awesome... The kind of people, that need a safe, affordable home for themselves and their families, without your judgment. .”
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“Curious who is funding Gregg Chapel so he can build cheap housing here. Curious what kind of residents he looking for to move here.”
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“This is extremely upsetting. I hope the parents of this young man sees this as a " Cry for Help" and move forward in getting him evaluated., into counseling with...”
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“Will the Hurlburt golf course be open?”
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“I really think this is a great idea. My only concern is what is planned at the base of the Destin bridge. I am not a proponent of any development...”
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“Traffic signals have a definite limit to how many cars an hour can pass under them. The signal system downtown has been beyond capacity since 1990. To increase capacity additional...”
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