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The Future of Highway 98

By: Jennifer Ryan
By: Jennifer Ryan

Winding through a storm-battered road has become commonplace in Alligator Point.

“It's never given attention because it is always torn up, so it stays in bad shape.”

The worst shape could be seen last month when Hurricane Dennis blew through town. The result: a twisted mess of asphalt, trapping residents and straining recovery efforts.

Doug Wiggins, a resident, says, “Now they got an opportunity to fix it so we can grow and develop Alligator Point.”

The immediate fix included bulldozers and debris pickups, a good start, but not a solution.

Some say the only permanent fix is to take the road and move it several hundred feet inland, but county officials say in order to do this they need some assistance.

Alan Pierce, Franklin County planner, says, “We need financial assistance and political support because this is a major undertaking for a small, rural county.”

Pierce says the benefits would be overwhelming for the county and state because moving the road would recreate a beach, one that's been washing away for decades.

The state Department of Transportation says it has no plans to help move Alligator Point Road. Pierce says he's now hoping FEMA will come to the rescue.


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