Commissioners move forward with West Beach Drive pathway

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — Earlier this month, Panama City officials presented the final two design concepts for the West Beach Drive multi-use path. Many don’t support any of the current designs.

“I’m not going to be the one who tells their children, grandchildren, nieces, and nephews that I was part of that and I supported the path. Are you going to be that person?,” a Panama City resident said.

“My call to action today is that you guys create a motion that will say, we’re going to push pause on this, we are going to step back and give time to find those companies to get the Army Corps of Engineers in here, to get the EPA to get these studies,” another resident said.


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A representative from the Chevron terminal on Beach Drive expressed their concerns after the results of a traffic engineering study.

“Considering they are alternative routes, they pose some significant safety risks, especially associated with heavy vehicle traffic and accident counts,” Chevron representative Amy Brandenstein said. “In addition, the alternative routes can’t accommodate truck turn movement at most of those intersections. For the alternative routes, West Beach Drive and Beck Avenue, currently have the lowest commercial vehicle accident involvement along those roadways.”

Commissioner Jenna Haligas motioned to move forward with design concept three with some contingencies, including changes to parking spots and making sure nothing will get in the way of private property. The motion passed 4 to 1.

“We’re leaving a lot of flexibility to work with homeowners on how they would like it to look out right outside their front door and hopefully there’ll be an engagement there but we’re looking forward to seeing this project through completion and ultimately for the citizens of Panama City to enjoy it,” Panama City Commissioner Josh Street said.


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Mayor Michael Rohan still wants to abandon the project.

“My motion would have been to cut this foolishness out, stop the Beach Drive and take the money, give it back to the state,” Rohan said.

City staff said they hope to have a final design in time to put the project out for bids this fall.

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