|Work on the project to widen 9-Mile Road from two to four lanes through Beulah has slowed to a crawl. The FDOT project manager has provided a written explanation of the reasons for this....|
The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is the entity that is managing the project to widen 9-Mile Road. This project's completion date has slipped, the work has slowed, and I have been contacted by numerous frustrated residents in Beulah that feel as though the work on this project to 4-lane the section from Beulah Road to the Interstate has all but been abandoned....From one recent email:
" The 200 meter section from the new bridge to the I-10 ramp has not been worked on. The road from the entrance to Nature Trail to the new bridge appears to be pretty much completed. Why has nothing further been completed? The small area, once completed, will alleviate traffic problems. The short 100 meters of road under I-10 was torn up but never repaired. So, a two lane section has been rendered useless to a single lane traffic heading east..The primary sections of the U.S.’s interstate system were built in about 35 years. And, that was begun in the 50’s. I am not very impressed with today’s competence that cannot build and finish a 1-2 mile stretch of road in Escambia County in two years. Frankly, all involved should be embarrassed."
The FDOT project manager, to her credit, immediately responded to a request I made for an update on this project. Below is her email update on this portion of the project, specifically:
"Thank you for your interest in the Nine Mile Road widening project. Work is currently focused at the tie-ins near the connection between Leisure Lakes RV Park and Beulah Road. Crews are concentrating on completing the exposed portions of the work in an effort to minimize potential erosion. The project has received a substantial amount of rain over the last several months and this has impacted the ability of the project team to productively work on the roadway embankment, subgrade and limerock base. The rains have also impacted the ability to grade the ditches and place the concrete ditch pavement. Regrettably, it seems every time the crews grade the ditch, adverse weather conditions cause a delay.
On the other end of the project limits, near the I-10 interchange, the team recently received approval of the final design from FDOT for the driveway at Spectrum Systems (3410 Nine Mile Road). Crews have worked to relocate the water mains and water service in this area. It is critical to get this driveway constructed so the new stormwater retention pond and associated drainage can be completed. Once this is accomplished, crews will be able to return to work widening the remaining
section of Nine Mile Road, between the new 11-Mile Creek Bridge and the I-10 interchange.
Weather continues to be a factor in the ability to work, especially with the high water table within the project limits. However the path forward, after the tie-ins on both ends of the project are complete, call for crews to place the second lift of asphalt pavement and stripe the new roadway for two-way traffic. Traffic between the I-10 interchange to just west of Beulah Road will then shift from the existing to the new Nine Mile Road travel lanes. This activity is currently scheduled for completion this summer.
Once traffic has been placed on the new roadway, crews will remove the sections of the existing roadway that require elevating and reconstruct them. Remaining sections will be milled and new asphalt applied.
With traffic shifted onto the new roadway the work on the existing travel lanes should move faster since most of the underground work will have already been completed. The entire project is now estimated for completion in late 2019/early 2020 pending weather and any additional design changes.
As growth continues along Nine Mile Road, the team continues to review additional permits for connections, subdivisions, and utilities which must be coordinated with the design of the current project. We appreciate your patience and ask that you let us know if you have any additional questions."