Traffic Alerts – What To Expect On The Road This Week

June 13, 2021

Drivers will encounter traffic disruptions on the following state roads in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties as crews perform construction and maintenance activities.

Escambia County:

  • Pensacola Bay Bridge (U.S. 98) Replacement - The Pensacola Bay Bridge has reopened. Drivers will encounter nighttime lane restrictions on the Pensacola Bay Bridge from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. Friday, June 11 through Thursday, June 17 as crews work to restore four travel lanes for the length of the bridge.
    • 17th Avenue Interchange construction – There is a new, temporary traffic configuration in place for the 17th Avenue interchange in Pensacola. Traffic exiting the Pensacola Bay Bridge now has direct access to both 17th Avenue northbound and Gregory Street westbound. 17th Avenue southbound is currently closed at Bayfront Parkway while work on the interchange continues. Access to the Pensacola Visitors Center and boat launch remains open from 17th Avenue. Westbound access to the bridge is available via Bayfront Parkway, however, there are no left turns permitted from 14th Avenue to Bayfront Parkway. These drivers should detour to Ninth Avenue southbound, turn east onto Chase Street, and then continue east to Bayfront Parkway and the Pensacola Bay Bridge
  • North Ninth Avenue (State Road (S.R.) 289) Carpenters Creek Bridge Replacement- All travel lanes are temporarily shifted to the northbound side of the bridge as crews work to replace the southbound portion of the structure.
    • Drivers will encounter brief, intermittent lane closures as crews mobilize materials and equipment. The brief, intermittent lane closures and traffic configuration will continue through the end of the year.
    • Pile driving work is also underway. Crews will be driving piles during the daytime hours. Nearby residents and commercial property owners may experience noise and vibration.
    • During the week of June 14, Ninth Avenue will be temporarily closed near Carpenters Creek during nighttime hours for approximately 10-15 minutes to allow crews to move a crane.
  • ·         U.S. 29 from South of Muscogee Road (County Road (C.R.) 184) to Atmore Hwy (S.R. 97) – Motorists will encounter intermittent day and nighttime lane closures, Monday through Friday, throughout the limits of the project for striping operations, signal work, and other miscellaneous items needed complete the project.

o   A new traffic signal on U.S. 29 at Molino Road (County Road 182) will become fully operational around 10 a.m. Tuesday, June 15. The new signal is mounted horizontally on mast arms.  Motorists with color weakness problems will need to remember red is on the left and green on the right.  The signal is currently in flash mode to acquaint motorists with the new location.  Drivers are urged to use caution when approaching the intersection.

  • West Cervantes (U.S. 90) Pedestrian Safety Improvement Project – Drivers are encountering inside day and nighttime lane closures between Dominguez Street and Shoemaker Street as crews perform median improvement work. One lane in each direction will be maintained. The median work and lane closures will progress eastward on Cervantes Street until the end of the year.  The speed limit between Dominguez Street and A Street has been permanently reduced to 30 mph.
  • U.S. 29 Widening from I-10 to Nine Mile Road (U.S. 90) – Motorists can expect intermittent lane closures and shifts on U.S. 29 between I-10 and Nine and Half Mile Road and on Nine Mile Road at the U.S. 29 Overpass 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. Monday, June 14 through Friday, June 18.
  • Nine Mile Road (U.S. 90) Widening from Pine Forest (S.R. 297) to U.S. 29 – Drivers will encounter lane closures and shifts between I-10 and Surrey Drive between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m. the week of Monday, June 14 as crews pave and repair the asphalt.
    • In addition, the new traffic signal on Nine Mile Road at I-10 will be placed in a flash mode at 10 a.m. Tuesday, June 15.  Drivers exiting I-10 eastbound to Nine Mile Road eastbound will encounter a flashing red light telling them to stop, then proceed once traffic is clear.   East and westbound Nine Mile Road traffic will encounter a yellow flashing signal meaning slow down and proceed through the intersection with caution. Tuesday, June 22 around 10 a.m. the traffic signal will become fully operational. The new signal is mounted horizontally on mast arms.  Motorists with color weakness problems will need to remember red is on the left and green on the right.
  • S.R. 292 (Sorrento Road) Intersection Improvements at the Innerarity Point (C.R. 292A)– Motorists should expect intermittent lane closures 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. Sunday, June 13 through Thursday, June 17 as crews restripe and install temporary asphalt in preparation for construction of low-profile barrier wall.

Santa Rosa County:

  • Pensacola Bay Bridge (U.S. 98) Replacement - The Pensacola Bay Bridge has reopened. Drivers will encounter nighttime lane restrictions on the Pensacola Bay Bridge from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. Friday, June 11 through Thursday, June 17 as crews work to restore four travel lanes for the length of the bridge.
  • I-10 Resurfacing East of S.R. 281 (Avalon Boulevard) to East of S.R. 87 – Motorists can expect intermittent lane closures 8 p.m. Sunday, June 13 to 6 a.m. Monday, June 14 as crews perform paving operations.

Jay Man Critically Injured After Being Ejected, Pinned Under His Van

June 13, 2021

A Jay man was critically injured when he was ejected from his van and pinned under it Saturday afternoon.

The 19-year old was eastbound on Old Pollard Road about a mile west of Highway 89 when he drove through standing water and lost control about 2 p.m. The vehicle rotated, struck a mailbox and a drainage ditch before becoming airborne. The passenger side of the van struck a tree and continued to rotate, ejecting the man, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

State troopers said he was ejected and pinned under the van.

The man was airlifted to an area hospital by Shands Cair 6 medical helicopter. The Jay Volunteer Fire Department and Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office were among those that responded.

Photo for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

Florida Forest Service Southern Pine Beetle Assistance Application Deadline Is June 18

June 13, 2021

Applications close Friday, June 18 for the 2021 Southern Pine Beetle Assistance and Prevention Program for non-industrial, private forest landowners. The program is limited to 44 northern Florida counties, including Escambia and Santa Rosa.

The Southern Pine Beetle Assistance and Prevention Program, supported through a grant by the U.S. Forest Service, provides incentive payments for landowners who have overstocked pine stands and need to conduct a first thinning. In addition, it offers partial cost reimbursement for activities that can mitigate SPB activity, such as prescribed burning, mechanical underbrush treatments, and the planting of longleaf or slash pine rather than loblolly pine, the beetle’s preferred species. All qualifying applications received during the submission period will be evaluated and ranked for approval.

To obtain an application or to learn more about the Southern Pine Beetle Assistance and Prevention Program, visit FDACS.gov/SPBPrevention.

The southern pine beetle (SPB) is one of the most economically devastating forest pests in the Southeastern United States, with periodic outbreaks destroying thousands of acres of pine timber. The last major SPB outbreak in Florida, between 1999 and 2002, caused an estimated $59 million in timber losses on over 24,000 acres. The Southern Pine Beetle Assistance and Prevention Program promotes forest management practices that reduce the risk and impacts of SPB infestations. Since it was first offered in 2005, the program has been implemented on more than 197,000 acres and helped thousands of landowners.

NWE 8U Baseball Wins District Championship

June 13, 2021

The Northwest Escambia 8U Baseball All-Stars won the district championship Saturday with a 9-3 win over Flomaton. With the win, NWE advances to the state tournament in Theodore, Alabama on June 26. Photo for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

Blue Wahoos Offense Sputters In 6-1 Loss At Chattanooga

June 13, 2021

The Blue Wahoos offense sputtered again for the Wahoos as they fell 6-1 to the Lookouts on Saturday night at AT&T Field.

In another highly anticipated pitching matchup, neither starter turned in the performance many expected.

Jake Eder (L, 1-2) battled with his command early in his start and was tagged with a pair of runs in the first inning. Chattanooga would add another run in the second inning to make it 3-0. Eder finished the night with six innings pitched and allowed four runs (3ER) with two walks and five strikeouts. He tied his career-high with 88 pitches.

Eder—who entered today’s start with the lowest ERA in the Double-A South—now has an ERA of 1.26, which is the second-lowest in the league.

Chattanooga starter Nick Lodolo looked poised to turn a solid inning up until an injury derailed his outing. Lodolo had seven strikeouts 3.1 innings before a 2-1 slider to J.D. Osborne forced the former first round pick to exit the game due to injury.

After Lodolo left the game, the Lookouts used four different relievers to hold the Blue Wahoos to one run despite having 10 hits on the night. Pensacola went 2-for-10 with runners in scoring position and left 14 men on base.

Offensively, JJ Bleday led the way for the Wahoos tallying three hits on the night while Nick Fortes went 2-for-5. Pensacola avoided being shutout for the second night in a row courtesy of a sac fly to right field by Jerar Encarnacion in the top of the ninth inning.

The series concludes tomorrow afternoon before the Wahoos return home to Pensacola. LHP Brandon Leibrandt (1-3, 8.17) gets the green light for the Wahoos and he will be opposed by Randy Wynne (1-1, 6.14). First pitch is scheduled for 1:15 PM CT.

by Chris Garagiola, Pensacola Blue Wahoos

Youth Pastor Accused Of Hiding Camera In Church Bathroom Now Charged With Child Pornography Possession

June 12, 2021

The youth pastor arrested a week ago for allegedly recording people with a hidden camera in a church bathroom is now charged with possessing child porn.

Escambia County Sheriff’s Office investigators served a search warrant at the home of  37-year old David Patrick Nims located in the 7400 block of Hidden Valley Road after arresting him for video voyeurism.

The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office responded to Calvary Baptist Church on Pine Forest Road after a hidden video surveillance camera was located in a bathroom on June 7. Nims served as a youth pastor at the church.

Electronic devices which were seized during the search of Nims’ home, and a laptop containing more than 100 child pornography files discovered, according to the ECSO. Investigators said none of the child victims in the files appear to have a local connection but instead it appeared the images were downloaded from the internet.

Nims was charged with possession of child pornography, in addition to the original charge of second degree felony video voyeurism by a person 18 or older, who is responsible for the welfare of a child younger than 16. The ECSO said more charges could be added as Special Victims Unit investigators continue to analyze additional digital files.

The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office said anyone that believes they may be a victim of Nims, or knows that someone that may be a victim, is asked to call them at (850) 436-9620.

Lane Closures This Week On Highway 29 Cantonment To Molino As Construction Nears Completion

June 12, 2021

The Florida Department of Transportation said drivers can expect possible delays Monday through Friday on Highway 29 between Molino and Cantonment.

FDOT said motorists will encounter intermittent day and night lane closures on Highway 29 front just south of Muscogee Road in Cantonment to Highway 97 in Molino. Contractors will be performing striping operations, signal work, and other miscellaneous items needed complete the project.

Pictured: Highway 29 just south of Well Line Road in Cantonment, as seen Saturday, June 11. NorthEscambia.com photo, click to enlarge.

Pensacola Beach Fishing Pier Expected To Open In Two Weeks After Repairs

June 12, 2021

Temporary hurricane damage repairs on Pensacola Beach Fishing Pier will begin Monday, June 14. The repairs are expected to be completed within a couple of weeks.

“Public Works is working diligently to reopen the fishing pier at Casino Beach as soon as possible,” said Chairman and District 4 County Commissioner Robert Bender. “I am really looking forward to seeing anglers return to this recreational amenity on Pensacola Beach.”

After meeting onsite with FEMA representatives about Hurricane Sally damage, the county received approval to move forward with these temporary repairs. Escambia County is also working on receiving approval from DEP for temporary repairs to the walk overs at Park West.

Tax Collector to Resume Driving Skills Exams At Marcus Pointe Office

June 12, 2021

Driving tests for new drivers are transitioning back to the Escambia County Tax Collector’s Office at 6451 North W Street on June 21, according to Tax Collector Scott Lunsford.

Since April 2020, the tests have been administered at an outdoor range in downtown Pensacola in order to mitigate the risks of COVID-19 for the public and for staff.

For new drivers, an appointment is not required. The queue for driving tests will be open at the Marcus Pointe location from 8:00 a.m. until3:30 p.m. The virtual queue is available by choosing “Join the Line” at EscambiaTaxCollector.com. Once all available openings have been filled, the line will close for the day.

Driving tests resulting from a medical review or multiple crashes will be administered at the Warrington office, located at 4051 Barrancas Avenue, Suite A. Driving exams for medical reviews or multiple crashes will require an appointment. To schedule an appointment for a medical or crash related driving test, email ectc@EscambiaTaxCollector.com.

Lookouts Edge The Wahoos In A Pitching Showdown

June 12, 2021

Lookouts win 1-0 on Robinson’s solo home run

In a highly anticipated pitching showdown between two of baseball’s top prospects, the Lookouts edged past the Wahoos 1-0 on Friday night at AT&T Field.

Hunter Greene (W, 5-0), the league leader in wins and strikeouts (60) took the mound for the hosts against Wahoos ace Max Meyer. It was matchup that featured a second overall pick in 2017 (Greene) and a third overall pick (Meyer) in 2020.

The pitching matchup lived up the hype, as evidenced by the final score.

Meyer lasted only five innings on a night where his command at times tried to betray him. During his outing, Meyer yielded four walks and only struck out three, but escaped peril numerous times throughout his start.

In the bottom of the first, the Lookouts loaded the bases with only out. Meyer fell behind Brian Rey 3-0; however, Rey hit into an inning ending double play on a 3-0 fastball to end the threat. In the second inning the Lookouts had runners on first and second with two outs before Meyer induced a groundout to end the inning. Meyer ran into the same issue in the fourth, but stranded two more base runners when Leonardo Rivas ended the inning with a groundout Lazaro Alonso.

Despite the nine strikeouts from Greene, the Wahoos had chances to score against the Reds top pitching prospect.

In the top of the first inning, Jerar Encarnacion doubled to right and Nick Fortes walked to set up first and second with two outs. The inning came to an end when Greene struck out Alonso with a 101 mph fastball. In the fourth, the Wahoos opened the inning with back-to-back walks against Greene. Unfortunately for the Wahoos, the rally would go no further as the right-hander retired the next three Wahoos in a row to end the inning.

The only offense in the game came after Meyer departed the contest. Zach Wolf (L, 0-2) surrendered a solo home run to Chuck Robinson to put the Lookouts 1-0. That was the only hit the Wahoos bullpen allowed on Friday.

In the top of the ninth inning against another former first round pick, Pensacola got the tying run in scoring position against Nick Howard S, 3). After a walk to Riley Mahan, the Wahoos used Jhon Nunez as a pinch runner, who advanced to second on a wild pitch. The game came to end after Howard struck out Peyton Burdick to end the game.

Saturday night will feature another star-studded pitching matchup at AT&T Field. LHP Jake Eder (1-1, 0.61) will face LHP Nick Lodolo (2-0, 1.01). Eder has the second-lowest ERA in all of MiLB, and Lodolo was the seventh overall pick in 2019 out of TCU.

by Chris Garagiola, Pensacola Blue Wahoos

File photo.

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