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Dangerous Molino intersection to be redesigned


Plans to make changes to a dangerous Molino intersection are moving forward.

FDOT plans for a traffic light at the intersection of Highway 29 and 97 in Molino continue. The plan is to redesign a portion of the intersection and add a red light. Improvements to the intersection are to lover the number of traffic crashes.

The new design is funded by the state. And a construction scheduled has not yet been established.

FDOT will install a traffic signal at the intersection to address safety issues, with the design funded by the state and the constructed funded by Escambia County. A construction scheduled has not yet been established.

Escambia County Interim Administrator Larry Newsom met with FDOT officials last week in Chipley to discuss changes and improvements for the intersection to lower the number of traffic crashes.

A full fdot study of the intersection concluded that a traffic signal should be installed. The study also found that intersection should be redesigned to eliminate the "5-leg intersection configuration" caused by a driveway connection to the tom thumb by a combination of strong access control at the driveway connection and a reduction of the existing median opening width.

Last October, the Escambia County Commission affirmed its support for improvements at the intersection and expressed a willingness for the county to pay for the red light at the Highway 29 and Highway 97 intersection.

Newsom said the state is currently in the design phase for the intersection, and that process is expected to continue for the next three months with input from both FDOT and the county.

"The much needed side street connection of Crabtree Church Road may be addressed on parallel basis with the intersection improvements, or as a secondary project. Escambia County intends to apply for a community traffic safety team grant to fund construction of this project. However, if we are unsuccessful in that attempt, funds from the voter-approved local option sales tax will be allocated to facilitate implementation as quickly as possible," Newsom said.

FDOT will install a traffic signal at the intersection to address safety issues, with the design funded by the state and the constructed funded by Escambia County. A construction scheduled has not yet been established.

"I believe that, with the support of FDOT District III Secretary Tommy Barfield and coordination with the state secretary ananth prasad, we can expect a significant amount of investment to be made in Escambia County in the near future," Newsom added.

The plans to improve and add a signal at the intersection came after residents of the all residential northern stretch of  Highway 95a from Highway 29 to Highway 97 unsuccessful pushed commissioners to enforce a truck ban on that portion of Highway 95a. Trucks currently turn south on Highway 95a at Highway 29 to avoid the Highway 29 and Highway 97 intersection altogether over safety concerns.

Escambia County District 5 Commissioner Steven Barry, Sen. Greg Evers, Rep. Clay Ingram, Rep. Doug Broxson, Rep. Mike Hill, Rep. Matt Gaetz and Senate President Don Gaetz  have also advocated for FDOT to make safety improvements at the intersection.