If you ever have turned around on the causeway between Apalachicola and Eastpoint, it’s about to get a whole lot harder.
A new cable barrier, stretching for one-and-one-half miles is now under construction. It began March 5 and should be finished by June.
In his report to county commissioners April 3, former county planner Alan Pierce said he has concerns but that the Florida Department of Transportation has said nothing can be changed.
Pierce said the barrier is too close to the right of way, and 20 feet from the water, and he would like to see it moved closer to the water.
“We’re going to have a guardrail 11 feet off the edge of the causeway,” he said. “We didn’t ask for it and we didn’t want it.”
Commissioner Cheryl Sanders said she too is concerned. “They’re be swinging their door open into the traffic,” she said.
“You ain’t gonna have no road,” said Commissioner William Massey.
The reason the state is erecting the cable barrier is due to the provisions of Chloe’s Law, which was passed by the Florida Legislature in 2017.
The law requires the state to erect such barriers on any road adjacent to water where a fatality occurred between July 2006 and July 2016.
In the case of Franklin County, on Oct 29, 2007, 25-year-old Tione Rochelle was killed when she was traveling westbound on the causeway and ran off the road, struck a rock barrier and overturned, resting in about five feet of water.
An exception in the law was made if engineers determined that adding a barrier would be less safe for travelers, but Ian Satter, an FDOT spokesman, said that did not apply.
He said the cost of the barrier is $673,000, and the work is being done bv Capital Asphalt, out of Tallahassee.
“We have to comply with state law,” he said.