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Northwest Florida road projects
NORTHWEST FLORIDA -- The Florida legislature is sending three hundred million dollars to the panhandle for road improvements.
One of the largest projects is in Escambia County on Nine Mile Road.
Rob Brown "With three hundred million dollars in infrastructure improvement money coming to Northwest Florida, projects will take place in Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, and Escambia Counties. The most intense might be right here on Nine Mile Road, where the road will be expanded from Interstate Ten to Pine Forest Road."
For about a mile, Nine Mile Road is one lane, leading to a busy intersection.
Commuters and business customers must share that route, and backups are frequent.
Some say traffic jams can be frustrating .
Jonathan Patti "With traffic backed up at five o'clock, everyone's getting off, we're having traffic for a mile and a half just waiting for these lights to go."
Jonathan Patti manages a seafood store on Nine Mile Road.
He says snarled traffic costs him business.
Jonathan Patti "It has, especially now that there's no lights down here. So when it hits five o'clock, six o'clock, it's really dark. That's when the five 'clock traffic happens, so why would you stay on this side of town?"
Patti says lawmakers have long ignored needed upgrades.
But he's happy they're coming.
Jonathan Patti "Talk is cheap. Now we're seeing things happening, we definitely applaud them, and excited about the future of Pensacola on this side of town."
Nine Mile Road is on Jason Deyell's daily commute.
Jason Deyell "I have occasionally gotten stuck in traffic, especially around five o'clock. It's a little bit frustrating to say the least. Widening the road, having another lane, would be tremendous."
Deyell says that the area is growing, and upgrades are necessary.
Jason Deyell "For the last twenty years the population has grown so much that at some point you're going to have to widen the roads."
Rob Brown "Business owners say they hope expanding the road will bring less stress to both commuters and businesses."
Santa Rosa and Okaloosa County are also getting a piece of the pie.
In Santa Rosa County, the funding includes improvement projects along Highway 98. And in Okaloosa County there are four projects.
They include two widening projects on PJ Adams Parkway. a project development and environmental study for the replacement of the Brooks Bridge and a lighting project on Interstate 10 near the Holt Road exit.