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Highway 98 construction project

SANTA ROSA COUNTY   --  Upwards of 30,000 people drive Highway 98 in South Santa Rosa County every day.

Traffic can be a bear.
Some of those drivers and the people who work along 98 are concerned that major road work is going to tie things up even worse.

Road crews are getting ready to resurface the road from the Okaloosa County line to the Gulf Breeze Zoo.

The 12-million dollar project covers just over eleven miles of road.
The work is expected to take until winter of 2015.

The construction hasn't quite started yet.
Crews are preparing sections of the road, placing signs notifying people about the project.

Many businesses along 98 are not pleased to hear about the construction.
Highway 98 is one of the most traveled roads in our area used by locals and tourists alike.
   
Jeff Gilmore drives down 98 three or four times a day going to and from work.
He says he's dreading the construction.  He'll have to leave his house up to an hour earlier every day to make it to work on time.

"It's going to be horrible especially if they do lane closures and all that it's going to back traffic up."

The Florida Department of Transportation says motorists can expect minor traffic delays..
   
Lanes will -not- be closed during the heaviest traffic hours.
Greg White owner of County Line Pizza and Pub says the construction will hurt his business and his delivery drivers.

"This one is really going to hurt us more especially with the military having to go home driving that way and it's going to back up and back up and people are going to get aggravated and not come back out."

Daniel Thompson says he's been selling produce at this stand in the same location for 5-years and if the project takes until 2015 to wrap up he may have to relocate.

"It's going to definitely slow it down and hopefully the locals still come I mean they've been coming to us for five years and they know we bring them the best stuff."
   
Many people think the project can wait and 98 doesn't need any work..
"If you look at the roads there is nothing wrong with them, go to other parts of the county where it's really needed not right here."

The Department of Transportation says, once this phase of the 98 project is complete resurfacing the highway from the Gulf Breeze Zoo to the Three Mile Bridge will be next.