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Plans to improve Brooks Bridge in Okaloosa move forward


One Florida lawmaker is setting aside money to study ways to improve the Brooks Bridge in Okaloosa County.

The bridge is the only  direct route from Fort Walton Beach to Okaloosa Island and Destin. Earlier this year, traffic was shut down for hours when a barge hit the bridge.

Senator Don Gaetz has earmarked thousands of dollars of FDOT funding to pay for a study. It will look at either replacing the bridge with a bigger structure, or adding another bridge in the area.

Nik Flagstar "A wide bridge, wider sidewalks would help downtown receive traffic from cars and from pedestrians and from bicyclists coming back this way. And just a wider bridge to get everybody who works out in destin to work every day would be a huge help."

The last time the bridge was studied was in 2001. That report showed the bridge was structurally sound, but it could not accommodate traffic.