I am one member of a five person board. The opinions I express on this forum are mine only, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Escambia County Staff, Administrators, Employees, or anyone else associated with Escambia County Florida. I am interested in establishing this blog as a means of additional transparency to the public, outreach to the community, and information dissemination to all who choose to look. Feedback is welcome, but because public participation is equally encouraged, appropriate language and decorum is mandatory.

Friday, January 19, 2018

What Could the New Beulah/9-Mile Road/NFCU Traffic Solution Look Like?

The project to add an outlet for NFCU personnel to exit their premises in the afternoon via an access point through the welcome center is dead.  This is extremely disappointing because that option was the smartest, most economical, most practical, and could have been done quickly.  But Federal bureaucrats killed that idea. 

The next initiative to address this issue and overall congestion on 9-mile road, the one that is gaining steam right now,  is an elevated overpass on 9-Mile Road concept.

This will allow NFCU employees to exit via two dedicated left-turn lanes coming out of Navy Federal Way under 9-mile road headed eastbound, while simultaneously allowing the free flow of traffic on 9-mile road east and west above.

The first several conceptual drawings I saw of this plan did not take into account the access to 9-Mile road from several adjacent developments on the north and south side of 9-Mile road.

This latest drawing does a better job of taking  these other property owners' interests into account, and appears to be something that could work.

While my initial concerns about this plan were significant and several are still valid ($68 Million Dollar Cost, 4-6 years to complete, continued disruption to existing traffic on 9-Mile road for Beulah  residents, noise above the sound barriers for residents along the south side of 9-Mile road in Nature Trail)--this latest drawing is a significant improvement over previous renditions.

I still believe we need to ensure that before we go full speed ahead with this, all affected area

 homeowners, property owners, and residents have an opportunity to weigh-in on this proposal.

I remain concerned about the sheer volume of cars and lanes of traffic that will be funneled into one exit (Exit 5) heading east---  but I do agree that if this plan is constructed as indicated--traffic will flow in and out of Beulah much more efficiently--which will be a great benefit to the area as we develop OLF 8, start sending 1000 students to the new Middle School, and as the rest of this area continues to grow.

Whatever we do with this concept, we have to ensure that the construction of the Beulah Beltway interchange at Issacs Lane and I-10 is not impacted in terms of time of completion or in terms of funding.  The Beulah Beltway remains the most important transportation project for our county--number 1.  But hey, If we can get the Beulah Interchange and something like this flyover concept done on 9-Mile road--this would be an extremely beneficial one-two punch to the traffic issues in Beulah.

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