The Florida Department of Transportation is looking to resurface sidewalks in Bonifay, a plan they presented information on during an open house Monday, May 6.

The project would cover State Road 79 from U.S. 90 to north of County Road 177. The project is intended to improve pedestrian walkability and is also looking to enhance lighting along the corridor.

“We’re trying to change some of the landscape downtown to enhance mobility for pedestrians,” FDOT Design Project Manager Howard Hodge said. “We met with (City Clerk) Mr. Rickey Callahan and (Executive Assistant and Grants Coordinator) Sierra Smith very early in this project, probably a year, a year and a half ago. The City had developed a list of ADA improvements they wanted to do along the corridor.”

Florida Department of Transportation Design Project Manager Howard Hodge discusses plans to resurface Bonifay sidewalks during a project open house Monday, May 6. [COLLIN BREAUX | The Advertiser]

A list of those improvements includes sidewalk reconstruction and adding a curb to match manhole elevation at the corner of 79 and 90, reconstructing ramps at the corner of 79 and Evans Ave., and replacing distressed sidewalks at the 100 block of North Waukesha St.

Renderings were passed out to people in attendance. 

Proposed changes would also include the removal of steps in certain areas. The steps would be removed because they are steep and people in wheelchairs are not able to navigate them, Hodge said. The area will instead be smoothed out. 

Renderings depict proposed resurfacing of sidewalks in Bonifay under a project by the Florida Department of Transportation and City of Bonifay. [COLLIN BREAUX | The Advertiser]

“This is going to be a place where a lot of people will be hanging out with the parade going on,” Hodge said. “We didn’t want to limit them being able to get down and get candy and that sort of thing, so that’s why we flattened that slope out.” 

The Bonifay City Council and City staff were present since the open house was held right after a City Council meeting. 

“On the strip downtown where you’ve got the grass where the steps are removed, if the City provided underground utilities for future street pole lighting, could that be included in that project if we paid for the underground (part)?” Mayor Larry Cook said.

“It would probably be something we probably need to start coordinating very early on, like immediately,” Hodge said. “I’m not saying it’s not something we can’t do.”

Cook said the proposed sidewalk “looks twice as wide.”

“It just looks better,” Cook said.

Resident and former Mayor Emily McCann said one of the renderings depicted her front yard.

“It’s very needed,” McCann said. “We spend a lot of time helping people on lawn mowers and golf carts get down those steps and it will help significantly.”

Councilmember Rick Crews asked about the project’s timeline for completion.

“We’re looking at a little over a year for construction,” Hodge said. “This will actually go into conjunction with the U.S. 90 job as well. … It’s supposed to go into construction in the fall/winter of next year.”

Construction will not occur during the Northwest Florida Championship Rodeo. 

The current estimated project cost is a little over two and a half million dollars, though that could change by the time construction actually begins, Hodge said.

Leave a Reply

Advertising Options

Reach your target audience with our newspaper advertising options. Our publication has a wide readership, making it the perfect platform to promote your business or event.

To inquire about advertising rates and options, please fill out the form below and a member of our team will be in touch with you shortly.

Take advantage of our high readership and targeted demographics to promote your business to the right people. From print ads to online banners, we have a variety of options to suit your needs and budget.

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to reach your target audience. Contact us today to learn more about our advertising options.

E-Mailing List Subscription

Stay informed with our email mailing list! Sign up today and never miss a beat on the latest news and events in your community.

To join our e-mailing list, simply fill out the form below. We’ll send you a weekly digest of the top stories, delivered right to your inbox.

By signing up, you’ll be the first to know about breaking news, upcoming events, and special promotions. Plus, you’ll be eligible for exclusive subscriber-only content and offers.