TRAFFIC ALERT: Disruptions to traffic in NW Florida


FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla. (WKRG) — Some traffic changes are coming to Okaloosa and Walton Counties this week.

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) says work is being conducted on the Mid-Bay bridge and other roads for maintenance.


  • Mid-Bay Bridge Tendon Repairs– The Mid-Bay Bridge will be closed to all traffic from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. Friday, July 31 and Monday, Aug. 3 through Friday, Aug. 7 as workers complete tendon repairs.  Emergency service vehicles will be able to use the bridge for only urgent emergency services during the temporary closures. Alternative routes are State Road (S.R.) 20, S.R. 85, and U.S. 98.  Variable message boards are located at each end of the bridge to notify drivers about restrictions.  Load limits currently in place on the bridge will be lifted at 5 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 8.
  • U.S. 98 Widening from Airport Road to the Okaloosa/Walton County Line- Traffic impacts for the week of Sunday, Aug. 2 include:
    • Drivers can expect alternating and intermittent lane closures between Airport Road and Matthew Boulevard between the hours of 7 p.m. and 6:30 a.m. to allow crews to perform work list items.
    • Two access locations on the south side of U.S. 98, Tranquility Lane, and the adjacent driveway to the east, are temporarily closed.   The temporary closure will last approximately two months while crews adjust the elevation of U.S. 98. Regatta Bay Road, Gulfstarr Drive, and the adjacent driveway to the east will remain open.
    • Access to businesses will always be maintained. Signage and variable message boards are in place to direct traffic.
    • John Sims Parkway (State Road (S.R.) 397) over Tom’s Bayou Bridge Replacement Project– John Sims Parkway over Toms Bayou has been shifted to the southbound bridge and reduced to three travel lanes to demolish and reconstruct the northbound structure. The middle lane is a “reversible lane” providing maximum traffic capacity during peak travel times. Two southbound (Niceville to Eglin AFB) lanes will be in place in the morning and two northbound (Eglin AFB to Niceville) lanes in the afternoon. At times, John Sims Parkway may be reduced from three to two travel lanes, one in each direction, across the Toms Bayou Bridge between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.  The short-term closures are needed to deliver materials and pour concrete for the new northbound structure and will continue intermittently into early 2021.
  • S.R. 4 Bridge Replacement (Cotton Bridge) over Blackwater River- Motorists may encounter intermittent daytime lane restrictions through Tuesday, Sept. 15 as crews continue bridge construction activities.  There will be no traffic impacts during recognized holidays.
  • –Construction activities continue.  Drivers can expect intermittent daytime lane restrictions.


  • Traffic impacts for the week of Sunday, Aug. 2 include:
    • The U.S. 98 travel lanes between Emerald Bay Drive and Tang-O-Mar Drive are shifted to the south side of the roadway to construct the new westbound travel lanes. The following restrictions are in place during this phase of work:
  • Drivers are only allowed to make right turns from side streets and driveways.
  • U-turns are only allowed at signalized intersections.
  • Pedestrians are routed to the newly constructed sidewalks located on the south side of the roadway between Seascape Drive Tang-O-Mar Drive.
  • The entrance to Silver Sands Premium Outlets on U.S. 98 at Poinciana Boulevard will be reconstructed beginning the week of Sunday, Aug. 2.  The work will be performed in phases and two-way traffic will be maintained to allow drivers to enter and exit at this location.  Signage and maintenance of traffic devices will be in place to direct drivers during the construction work.  Reconstruction of this entrance is anticipated to be complete within two weeks.
  • There will be alternating lane closures on Forest Shore Drive at U.S. 98 between 8:30 p.m. and 5:30 a.m. the week of Sunday, Aug. 2. as crews install drainage pipes. Flaggers will be on-site to direct traffic during construction.
    • Driveways and side streets on the north side of U.S. 98 between Emerald Bay Drive and the Seascape Drive may be temporarily impacted by construction equipment crossing the roadway. Additionally, drivers may encounter uneven pavement in this area. 

FDOT says weather could cause delays in the projects.

For more information on FDOT click here.


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