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Deer Lake Bridge Construction Sparks Support for South Walton Connector Road

The ongoing construction of the Deer Lake Bridge on 30A has inadvertently become a catalyst for renewed support for the proposed South Walton Connector Road, often colloquially referred to as the power line road.

The closure of 30A due to the bridge project has led to substantial detours for residents and visitors traveling between Seagrove, Watersound, Alys Beach, and Rosemary Beach, creating frustration and highlighting the urgent need for improved connectivity.

The South Walton Connector Road is envisioned as a vital link running from 98 to 30A, approximately near Dune Lakes Elementary, with an exit onto 30A close to Lakewood Drive. Its significance lies not only in easing traffic detours but also in addressing public safety concerns.

Emergency responders, particularly during peak seasons, have faced challenges reaching calls in East Seagrove, especially along Lakewood Drive.

Instances of delayed responses to critical situations have underscored the need for a more efficient road network.

While the proposal for the South Walton Connector Road has faced controversy in the past, the current situation, exacerbated by the Deer Lake Bridge closure, has shifted public sentiment in favor of the project.

The construction has laid bare the dependence of local businesses on the uninterrupted flow of traffic along 30A.

The inability to access the area directly has impacted commercial activities, demonstrating the road's potential economic significance.

The evolving narrative surrounding the South Walton Connector Road serves as a case study in the ever-changing dynamics of public opinion.

What was once met with resistance is now garnering widespread approval, illustrating the fluctuating nature of political sentiments among Walton County citizens.

The urgency brought about by the Deer Lake Bridge construction has prompted a reconsideration of the road's importance, signaling a potential turning point in its approval and implementation.

As discussions progress, it is crucial for stakeholders to weigh the benefits of improved infrastructure against any concerns and work collaboratively towards a solution that meets the needs of the community.

The Deer Lake Bridge project has unwittingly become a catalyst for change, shedding light on the necessity of the South Walton Connector Road, which, if realized, could alleviate traffic woes and enhance emergency response capabilities in South Walton.


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1,460 views7 comments


Joy Payne
Joy Payne
Feb 02

based on past information, Deer Lake bridge is the last of the bridges to be repaired, therefore, the traffic problem should be alleviated on 30A once the project is complete. The lack of any substantial planning in the past for future growth has been the catalyst for the traffic problems. What once was a novel vacation & owner location has become an area of monstrous homes, golf carts and traffic nightmares. We will be the next Destin and Panama City in a few years


The exist bridge is actually a concrete box culvert which was structurally sound. The new bridge is located to the west and will provide another outlet for the undeveloped state land north of 30A. The new bridge will have 2 traffic lanes and a pedestrian/ bike lane similar to the existing infrastructure. The reason for the new bridge is to satisfy the environment not the congested traffic.


Sounds like the county found a way to garner support by manufacturing a crisis. Better planning should have been put into the bridge repair. Perhaps closing one side of the bridge at a time. Here’s a novel concept, guarantee no development along the new connected road for 50 years, and I’ll believe your intent that the road is for safety reasons and not development driven.


Don Cheek
Don Cheek
Feb 01

Given the population growth and the distance from 395 to Watersound Parkway coupled with safety concerns makes a strong case for power line road. Consideration for several wildlife crossings along the way would be a plus.


Perhaps the Deer Lake bridge didn’t need to be closed? Was it structurally unsound or government money that needed to be spent? Perhaps the impact on businesses should have been considered? Seems similar to the knee jerk lock downs for a respiratory virus (Covid) without ANY consideration to the economic impact on our local businesses? Perhaps those in Defuniak Springs should keep in mind Walton County is nothing without the revenue generated from small businesses south of Hwy 331. Perhaps Defuniak Springs should have considered the impact on small business revenue before shutting down 30A, rather than pitch another road project that will be over budget and not completed on time. “I’m from the government, and I’m here to help”.

Replying to

Thanks, Jon, for expressing these thoughts more fully & clearly than I did! JP

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