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Okaloosa County approves $2M for SR 85 Crestview Evening Relief Project

The Okaloosa Board of County Commissioners unanimously approved the allocation of $2 million from FY24 Surtax Reserves for the SR 85 Crestview Evening Relief Project on Tuesday, April 4, 2024. […]

The Okaloosa Board of County Commissioners unanimously approved the allocation of $2 million from FY24 Surtax Reserves for the SR 85 Crestview Evening Relief Project on Tuesday, April 4, 2024.

  • The funds will be used for property acquisition and right-of-way contingency.

The project aims to add a third northbound lane between Live Oak Church Road and the Crestview Bypass to increase vehicle capacity on SR 85 into Crestview. The County has applied for a Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) Transportation Regional Incentive Program (TRIP) grant of $1.6 million, with a portion of the $2.5 million allocation going towards the required 50% match for acquiring property for the necessary stormwater pond.

  • The remaining funds will be used for design and construction.

Public Works Director Jason Autrey stated that the project is part of FDOT’s larger SR 85 six-laning project. The County proposes to acquire additional property for stormwater ponds and roadway capacity for the southbound lanes on SR 85, allowing another small piece of the 6-laning project to proceed ahead of schedule and support the Southwest Crestview Bypass project already under construction.

  • “In total, the estimate that DOT has is about $65 million,” Autrey said. “Part of the problem they have is the acquisition of land for stormwater facilities. Fortunately, we’ve got a really good relationship with a couple of the key property owners, and we would like to move forward with trying to acquire these properties so that we can move forward with this tremendous project.”

Commissioner Nathan Boyles expressed his enthusiasm for the project moving forward and hinted at the possibility of additional efforts in the future. He highlighted two key aspects: the importance of maintaining good relationships with the FDOT district and the significance of Okaloosa County’s approach to partnering with FDOT.

“One, how important it is to have a good relationship with your DOT district, and to maintain those relationships and work on those relationships,” Boyles said. “And then two, how much of a game changer it has been in Okaloosa County for us to commence the process of coming to the DOT with something in our hand, every time we go with an ask…I think it has completely changed the paradigm.”

Boyles noted that Okaloosa County has been a forerunner in this approach, which differs from the traditional method of local governments in Northwest Florida simply asking FDOT to “fix problems” without contributing resources, he said. He emphasized that this partnership approach is working, as evidenced by the ongoing improvements on the south SR 85 corridor.

  • “The DOT has been accustomed to local governments coming and saying, ‘come fix this problem for us‘, and we’re taking a different approach and it’s working,” Boyles said. “There’s asphalt going down on the ground right now on, on that South 85 corridor, making some improvements, and this is just a continuation of that process and it absolutely requires a partnership.”

As Boyles prepares to leave office in a few months, he emphasized the significance of the County’s partnership with FDOT and the progress it has enabled in addressing transportation issues in Okaloosa County.

8 Responses

  1. Oh great start another project. Why not finish those that have been started for months and/or years! And have not been worked on for months. Never seen such disorganized project management!

  2. “Thank God and Grayhound he is gone (nakhon boyles)” is a attitude of many many Okaloosa County residents!!
    This guy will be miss by ” empty pocket holders” of the the city councilman (Crestview) & county commissioners (Okaloosa).

    1. There were four companies that submitted bids. Go do your research, ALL cost were going up in waste pickup, Adam’s was actually the LOWEST cost with the most benefits.

  3. If old man Whitehurst had taken the AIr Force offer to give the needed land to build a circle around Crestview in the 60s, we would not be faced with the horable traffic issues we all face every stinking day. Time to clean house at the County and City Governents.

    1. I agree, if there was a bypass around Crestview like Opp Alabama has, the vacationers would circumvent the every day Crestview traffic eliminating morning and evening congestion.

  4. I’ve traveled and lived in many areas. I’ve never experienced traffic this ridiculously bad, even in densely populated tourist areas. Simply poor management and planning.

  5. Yeah, it’s the good old boy system. They say the foxwood golf course was going to be bought to make a sport complex out if it but instead made it back into a golf course. Making it limited use. Not for the kids. They said the was going to four lane it on p.j.adams to hwy 90 but tel us why now there going to make it only 2 lanes as it is from Addison place apartment’s to hwy 90!! After pj adams hwy got beat to hell.from said apartment’s to hwy 90. Do ypu really thing the people from baker, holt and out of state will travel to the bypass instead of still using pj adams to Antioch (2 lane) to the so called round about. An what is the point of the round about if there is going to be a light near the round about. What a cluster!

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