Okaloosa County breaks ground on Southwest Crestview Bypass

Published: Sep. 13, 2021 at 9:26 PM CDT
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CRESTVIEW, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Some big things could be coming to the Crestview area.

Okaloosa County officially broke ground for the Southwest Crestview Bypass Construction Project on Monday, marking a huge milestone not only for Crestview but all of Northwest Florida.

“If you drive Highway 85, if you depend on Highway 85, if you believe Highway 85 matters to the economy and the commerce of Northwest Florida, you know that transformational progress is being made today,” Triumph Gulf Coast Chairman Don Gaetz said.

Officials say this project will allow access to several thousands of underdeveloped acres, kick-starting the opportunity for significant growth, not only in Crestview but in surrounding areas.

The project is slated to cost $200 million.

The half-cent surtax voted on by the citizens of Okaloosa County is the reason this project is happening.

“They are going to hate us for a few years as we go through this construction project. I understand what growing pains are. But very clearly the citizens had the vision of where we were going to end up,” Okaloosa County Public Works Director Jason Autrey said.

But once completed, U.S. Congressman Matt Gaetz says the wait will have been well worth it.

“To all the businesses who rely on workers to traverse our roads, the message is clear today, help is on the way. We are going to have the most significant infrastructure and economic development project here in all of Northwest Florida,” Gaetz said.

Officials agree this construction project is going to change Northwest Florida forever and for the better.

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