Alabama, Florida Officials Share Costs on Evacuation Route

FLOMATON, Ala. (AP) - Alabama and Florida officials will break ground Tuesday on a jointly funded project that will provide a four-lane hurricane evacuation route from the Florida Panhandle to Interstate 65 in Alabama.

Governor Riley, Florida Congressman Jeff Miller and others will be in Flomaton to kick off the four-laning of Alabama 113 from Flomaton to Interstate 65. U.S. Highway 29 is already four-laned from Pensacola to Flomaton.

But then hurricane evacuees have to travel the two-lane Alabama highway the last 14 miles to get to I-65 headed north.

Escambia County, Florida, is putting up $4 million for the project. The town of Flomaton and Escambia County, Alabama, are each putting in $500,000. The state of Alabama is funding the remainder of the nearly $23 million project.

Flomaton Mayor Dewery Bondurant says the four-lane road will do more than save lives. He says it will also save the town of Flomaton by helping bring economic development.

He says it will benefit Florida too by providing a better road to Pensacola area beaches.

He calls it a win-win for everybody.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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