Panama City, Fla. — Today, Governor Ron DeSantis joined Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) Secretary Kevin Thibault for a groundbreaking ceremony of the Tyndall Flyover, a new project at Tyndall Air Force Base (AFB) that will improve access and security to the base. The project will elevate the travel lanes of U.S. 98 above the Tyndall Drive main entrance to the base, separating through-traffic on U.S. 98 from traffic to the entrance to Tyndall. Governor DeSantis and Secretary Thibault were joined by Colonel Brian Laidlaw, Commander of the 325th Fighter Wing at Tyndall AFB.
FDOT’s average annual daily traffic counts show approximately 36,000 drivers travel U.S. 98 through Tyndall AFB every day. This flyover will improve access to the base, enhance safety and improve response time for personnel living off base. This $19.9 million project is set to be completed in 2021.
“I was excited to join FDOT today to break ground on this important project for Northwest Florida and Tyndall Air Force Base,” said Governor DeSantis. “The raising of these travel lanes on U.S. 98 will significantly reduce traffic congestion for this busy intersection, improving safety and accessibility for residents, visitors and commuters to and from Tyndall. This project is a critical component of our long-term recovery and rebuilding efforts, and I look forward to seeing the improvements it will bring upon completion.”
Photo Credit: Governor’s Press Office
“I applaud Governor DeSantis for continuing to make critical transportation investments in Florida’s Panhandle,” said FDOT Secretary Kevin J. Thibault, P.E. “Once complete, this project will provide enhanced access to the Tyndall Air Force Base as well as strengthen safety at this critical intersection. The Department is proud to help meet the transportation needs of our military partners at the base as well as the surrounding communities.”
“This project is a big win for Tyndall Air Force Base and the entire Northwest Florida community,” said Senator George Gainer. “Not only will this new flyover bridge improve safety by reducing traffic congestion, but it will also greatly improve the commute time for our residents. I thank FDOT for taking this on and I appreciate the Governor’s continued support to improving our state’s infrastructure.”
This project is a collaborative effort between FDOT, the Federal Highway Administration and Tyndall AFB’s 325th Fighter Wing. It represents a significant commitment by the State of Florida and Governor DeSantis to rebuild Tyndall AFB following the extensive damage the base sustained from Hurricane Michael.
“Our state’s commitment to the military and our bases is one of the many reasons Florida wins,” said Representative Jay Trumbull. “The investment today in our state’s infrastructure will help to facilitate the rebuild and growth of Tyndall Air Force Base to become the base of the future.”
“Because of the cooperation between military and civilian authorities we are able to take an important step toward the rebuild of Tyndall AFB as we work to improve the base after Hurricane Michael,” said Colonel Brian Laidlaw, Commander, 325th Fighter Wing. “That kind of teamwork is vital to our success. Because of our partners in the Florida Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration, we are able to improve base access and security, while improving transit times for the local community. This is just one more example of the Air Force, the State of Florida and the federal government working together for the good of the community.”