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Leaders break ground on U.S. 98 improvement project at Tyndall Air Force Base

Posted at 5:21 PM, Nov 06, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-06 17:21:55-05

(WTXL) — An area ravaged by Hurricane Michael now has a major road project coming its way.

The Florida Department of Transportation plans to relieve traffic jams outside Tyndall Air Force Base.

Leaders broke ground Tuesday as they shared plans to keep traffic moving off U.S. 98, right outside the Tyndall Air Force Base.

"It really shows the commitment to Tyndall. Obviously, if this was a base that would have withered on the vine, we wouldn't be doing infrastructure projects at this magnitude," said Governor Ron DeSantis.

DeSantis was on hand to celebrate the $19.9 million project that should give drivers, on and off the base, relief to major congestion. It should be complete in 2021.

"We'll be able to stand right here and look right over there and watch traffic flow unimpeded between Panama City and Mexico Beach for the first time," said Colonel Brian Laidlaw, Tyndall AFB Commander.

This project is also expected to improve security and access to the base and help the area continue to recover from Hurricane Michael.

"You see a lot of progress already. I was telling the Colonel I was here a couple months ago, a month, two months ago and you see progress even since then which I think is very, very good," said DeSantis. "If you look at what's in store for Tyndall now in the future, this is going to be a really really dynamic installation."

We also spoke to the people in the community about this project. What's interesting is, not everyone is loving this project.