Getting to Destin City Hall is going to remain a little more difficult for another couple of weeks.
The intersection at U.S. Highway 98 and Indian Bayou Trail has been closed since August of 2017 as part of the ongoing U.S. 98 widening project. The Florida Department of Transportation had originally expected to have the intersection open the week of June 25, but a complication will require addition work before it can be reopened to motorists.
"The construction crew out there has to place additional asphalt at the Indian Bayou/U.S. 98 intersection and we have to do that to adjust the elevation there at that intersection," said Ian Satter, spokesman for FDOT. "They had originally put down a layer of asphalt and when it settled it shown that it just wasn't enough. The crews have to get back out there and add additional asphalt, so that's what's causing the delay."
Satter said there was no set deadline for with the additional work on the intersection would be completed, but it is expected to be finished by the end of this month.
Something that hasn't helped the construction crew get the intersection at U.S. 98 and Indian Bayou Trail open is the recent rains, which interrupted additional asphalt work.
"One of the things we deal with here in Florida obviously is we have that consistent threat of rain. When it does rain, there are weather days that are part of the project," Satter said. "... Anytime you have a specific job when it comes to asphalt, you obviously can't do that while it's raining so they have to find the best optimal time to lay that asphalt and avoid those showers."
The Florida Department of Transportation is widening about 3.8 miles of the highway from Airport Road east to near the Walton County line. The $33.3 million job began last year and is expected to be finished in early 2021.
"We're continuing to get out there and work," Satter said. "There's a lot of things going on with the project besides just the widening. There's additional drainage and storm water ponds that are being constructed and other pieces of the project. We've got a lot of things going out there besides what people are seeing. We feel we're right on schedule with where we need to be with the project."