A project to improve walkability and pedestrian safety along State Avenue is expected to begin on Wednesday, September 19, 2018.
The State Avenue Sidewalk project includes construction of a six-foot wide concrete sidewalk on the west side of State Avenue from 19th Street to 23rd Street, an asphalt parking area for the Bay County Conservancy Park walking trail, and new aluminum pedestrian bridge near the Walmart Supercenter.
Main Street Construction Services, LLC which submitted the lowest bid of $197,020.35 was awarded the contract in August. Construction will begin at the south end of the project, the traffic circle at State Avenue and 19th Street.
“The sidewalk project on State Ave between 19th street and 23rd street is very near and dear to me. The need for this project has increased greatly during the last six years! December 2012 marked the reopening of the 23rd street Walmart in its original location in Panama City.
Walmart corporation spent more than $2 Million dollars in 2011 and 2012 remodeling and updating the existing building and parking lot of the original and first store in the City of Panama City. Our citizens were thrilled when Walmart returned and reopened in Panama City just prior to Christmas in 2012.
The amount of pedestrians using State Avenue has increased dramatically to the point of forming a natural dirt path along the west side of the road. Traffic has also greatly increased.
The new sidewalk project will greatly improve safety for pedestrians that use State Avenue as their means to board the ‘Bay Town Trolley’ at stop 156 at the corner of 23rd Street and State Avenue and at stop 157 on 23rd just east of State Avenue for transportation needs.
The sidewalk will also serve the additional needs of pedestrians making their way to businesses such as SunTrust Bank, Gulf Coast Regional Medical Center, several physicians’ offices, and several businesses on the north side of 23rd Street such as Publix Supermarket and the surrounding area.
As commissioner of Ward 3, I’ve been championing our staff for street lighting as well to improve safety at night on State Avenue. It’s greatly needed and will enhance that entire area. The current visibility at night is in need of being updated. I believe our citizens will be very happy with the end result. It’s been a labor of love in planning and now it’s time for the project to be built," - Commissioner Billy Rader, Ward 3
The company anticipates project completion in December 2018.
Drivers are urged to use caution while traveling through the construction area. All planned construction activities are weather dependent and may be delayed or rescheduled in the event of inclement weather.