On Thursday, May 24, County Road 2297 will close to through traffic at the bridge over Laird Bayou for approximately 300 days while an ongoing bridge replacement project is completed. Traffic will be rerouted to the newly paved Old Allanton Road.
The County Road 2297 Bridge serves the community of Allanton and Eastern Shipbuilding and is a priority project on the county’s Half-Cent Surtax list. During construction, safety concerns arose regarding the stability of the causeway surrounding the bridge, prompting its closure until the project is completed, Bay County Public Works Director Keith Bryant said.
The contractor on the bridge project, Bryant said, is refunding some $330,000 that, combined with $250,000 in surtax money, has been used to complete the paving of 4.7 miles of Old Allenton Road -- also a project on the county’s surtax list.
While the bridge closure will cause some inconvenience to travelers in the area, the paving of the formerly dirt Old Allanton Road is a positive, Bryant said, as has been cited by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection as a problematic area for stormwater runoff.
“This will ultimately be a win-win for the business, the environment, and the citizens in the area, though it will take a little while to come to full fruition,” Bryant said.