2009: Work Begins To Resurface Highway 97; Highway 29 Project Could Be In The Works

December 30, 2008

By this time next year, work should be underway to resurface Highway 97 from Molino to the Alabama state line. And, if a possible Barack Obama stimulus package works out like the state highway department hopes, a major resurfacing project could taking place on Highway 29 from Molino to Pine Barren Road.

The scheduled resurfacing project of Highway 97 in North Escambia is near the end the design phase that should see the first new asphalt on the highway by the end of 2009.

“A lot of projects were cut due funding, but this project was not,” Tommie Speights, Public Information Director for District 3 of the Florida Department of Transportation, told NorthEscambia.com.  “You are getting new pavement on that road; it is in the budget.”

A $1.78 million survey was  conducted by Volkert and Associates of Mobile in late 2007 and early 2008. The current timetable from the DOT calls for the final design plans to be ready before mid-January. Permitting and other technical events will take place prior to the contract being let for bid. There is  $16,372,775 in the state’s budget for the Highway 97 project.

“The project is scheduled to let for contract in late August 2009,” Speights said. “It would then take three to four months to begin actual resurfacing, so work would begin in about December of 2009.”

The resurfacing is expected to be complete by July 2010.

The entire 22.5 mile roadway is be repaved from Country Road 95 in Molino across Highway 29 to the Alabama state line. No major drainage changes are expected to the route’s 55 cross drains under the highway, with the exception of some possible changes near the intersection of Highway 97 and Crabtree Church Road.

Existing 12 foot wide travel lanes and five foot paved shoulders will be milled and resurfaced. This project does not include the four-laning of Highway 97. A four lane highway is not in any of the state’s current plans for Highway 97.

Meanwhile, if the state does receives funds as part of a federal stimulus package once Obama takes office, plans call for work on Highway 29. With federal stimulus money, the state would be able to start the contract process within 120 days to repave Highway 29 from Molino to Pine Barren Road.

The Highway 29 project has an estimated price tag of just over $5 million. Without federal money, the Highway 29 resurfacing project is not scheduled to take place within the next five years.

Pictured above: Survey crews work recently on Highway 97 near County Road 99 in north Escambia County. NorthEscambia.com file photo, click to enlarge.


2 Responses to “2009: Work Begins To Resurface Highway 97; Highway 29 Project Could Be In The Works”

  1. Marty on January 5th, 2009 4:59 pm

    Highway 297, Jacks Branch Road, and Highway 196 (Barrineau Park Road) need to be widened before repaving Highway 97.

  2. concerned mom on December 30th, 2008 10:31 am

    Thank the Lord…Hwy 97 needs re-paving asap!