Road project near Beulah Middle School not sitting well with some

Road project near Beulah Middle School not sitting well with some

A proposal to widen a road in the Beulah area is not sitting well with some people.

There are cars, buses and big old 18-wheelers at any given time on Nine Mile Road. Come August, they will be driving by the newly opened Beulah Middle School. It is one of the many new improvements coming to the area. The next is widening this road to accommodate more traffic. Jordan Conti lives in the Keystone subdivision, right across the street from the school's construction.

"We would possibly like to see a traffic light or the exits to be more toward Rebel Road or a side road that doesn't have a neighborhood feeding out of it," Conti said.

The Escambia County School District also wants a light, but that is not what they are getting. Instead, Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) plans to create four lanes, which will be divided by a median. That is a problem for Conti. She said that will restrict drivers to turn right to go west out of the gated community.

"We have 75 lots in our neighborhood and I would say 99 percent of that traffic turns eastbound every day," Conti said.

Kevin Adams, the school board member for district one, says the problem will also impact school traffic. He said drivers will have to backtrack if they want to go north or west. There will be a lot of traffic. The school holds 1,300 kids.

"We're going to have cars and buses and all kind of people going in and out of this school with 18 wheelers and all this heavy traffic going back and forth," Adams said.

A spokesperson for FDOT told WEAR-TV the light was considered, but they did a study and found it wasn't the best option. FDOT said it would create another major intersection and that would be a safety issue.

According to FDOT's website, construction is not budgeted for the next five years.

"This is five years from now they're going to build this four-lane road," Adams said. "Nobody knows how many houses are going to be built out here in Beulah and how much more development. I can guarantee the traffic is going to be five times worse than it is right now."

Conti is worried about kids crossing the street to go to school.

"It just doesn't make sense," Conti said. "It cannot be that way."

There will be a public meeting to get input on the proposal on February 20 at 5:30 p.m. at Smyrna Baptist Church.

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