Chipley officials have expressed displeasure with roadwork done throughout the city, including on South Boulevard. The Florida Department of Transportation has encouraged the City Council to reach out to Washington County about the matter since the county handled the project. [COLLIN BREAUX | The News]

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The City of Chipley recently asked the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) about issues with several road projects, answers which have now been made publicly available

Mayor Tracy Andrews reportedly met with FDOT on April 18 and their answers were included in the agenda for a May 14 City Council meeting.

One question was why was the county allowed to resurface South Boulevard without milling and if the project was overseen by FDOT. The driveways have had to all be reconnected, drainage gates have not been raised, and water pools on city streets because it can’t get to lower ground, the question said.

“The specific scope of the project was developed by the County,” FDOT’s response said. “Therefore, questions as to the design of the project should be addressed to the County. The project was submitted for funding by the County during the SCRAP application process.”

SCRAP stands for Small County Road Assistance Program and funding is generally awarded for corridors to alleviate traffic congestion.

Another question asked why didn’t FDOT replace the entire sidewalk on Highway 90 since there are as many ADA violations.

“Per the FDOT’s standard process the sidewalk was reviewed and the final ADA report was prepared in July 2021,” FDOT’s response said. “Sidewalk conditions can change during the three-year design process. Sidewalks are typically replaced in non-complaint sections and not for the entirety of a resurfacing project.”

Resurfacing project scopes have been reduced to “primarily address pavement rehabilitation needs and other areas must be addressed with other funds such as maintenance funds, safety funds, or even local funds,” FDOT continued.

“As you know, these other funds are limited as our infrastructure needs greatly outpace the available funds,” FDOT further said.

The City Council discussed the answers during their meeting.

“I feel like we need to reach out to the County and let’s have a discussion about this South Boulevard,” Councilmember Kevin Russell said. “I’m also curious as to why Highway 90 was resurfaced and since we had potholes on the side of the road and the road was unlevel, we just come and scrape the pavement off to make it leveled out. Are they coming back to do that?”

Councilmember Cheryl McCall said they haven’t “come back to do it in a timely manner.”

Another question from the City suggested lighting could be added at State Road 77 and Highway 90, based on the Thursday Night Lights events behind held around there and suggestions from nearby business owners during meetings with consultant Fisher Arnold brainstorming how to revamp downtown.

“Lighting is to be added at all four quadrants of SRR 77 and US 90,” FDOT said.

A further question asked why 90 west of 77 was shut down to one lane the Monday and Tuesday after Easter. 

“The construction contractor performed a lane closure to mill turnouts and to bore under US 90 for signalization in accordance with approved contract requirements,” FDOT said.

Russell said he is “not happy with the work that’s been done on the streets in Chipley.”

McCall said FDOT “does not seem to react to the safety issues that we have.”