County receives nearly $3 million to elevate 30B, replace bridge

A project aimed at implementing needed improvements to County Road 30B in the Indian Pass Raw Bar area received just under $3 million Monday morning, according to County Engineer Clayton Smallwood.

The county applied the project for Federal Emergency Management Agency funding through the organization’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program several months ago. The repairs are designed to help prevent the road from flooding and taking storm damage.

“We got notified that we were awarded one of our HMGP applications for County Road 30B, replacing the bridge and elevating the road as you leave the raw bar – that stretch,” said Smallwood on Monday afternoon. “We got notice that we’re going forward with that this morning.”

The project is one of six that the county submitted for HMGP funding. 

The Florida Division of Emergency Management administers the state’s FEMA HMGP awards, which requires a local match of 25 percent. 

To be able to afford this, smaller governments, like Gulf County’s, apply with the state’s Department of Economic Opportunity, who administers the local match portion of the HMGP through the Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery Program allocated to the state through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The county applied the 30B project for multiple pots of money, but this was the source they were most sure they would receive funding from said County Administrator Michael Hammond.

However, the funding took longer to come through than officials initially expected.

“We had a couple pots with (this project), but that (grant) was a no-brainer,” Hammond said. “But it really drug. We had been told we were going to get it, but we just hadn’t gotten notice.”

Smallwood said the project will likely take about several years to complete.

“Probably realistically, start-to-finish, it’ll take about three years, or something like that,” he said. “It’s got to get designed, permitted and then constructed.”

“We have to keep traffic open while we’re doing it, so, of course, we’ll have to get with DEM to go over all of those steps.

Meet the Editor

David Adlerstein, The Apalachicola Times’ digital editor, started with the news outlet in January 2002 as a reporter.

Prior to then, David Adlerstein began as a newspaperman with a small Boston weekly, after graduating magna cum laude from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He later edited the weekly Bellville Times, and as business reporter for the daily Marion Star, both not far from his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

In 1995, he moved to South Florida, and worked as a business reporter and editor of Medical Business newspaper. In Jan. 2002, he began with the Apalachicola Times, first as reporter and later as editor, and in Oct. 2020, also began editing the Port St. Joe Star.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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