CRA Update – S Thomas Drive One Year Until Done

Now that we’ve dispelled the rumor of the CRA being a bust, it’s time for an update on what’s happening out there. There has been a ton of activity with the construction of this project, although much of it may not be noticeable on the surface.

Much of the work up until this point has been underground.   Things like the repaving of streets, installing sidewalks and streetlamps and putting in landscaping only takes a few months – and incidentally, that’s what people notice the most, and it’s also what happens at the end of the project.  So, it’s easy to assume nothing’s really been going on with it for a long stretch of time, when the reality is that tons of stuff has been going on, just out of our view.

So, in the likes of Jack Black in Nacho Libre, Anyways.

Water is flowing through the new pipes.

All along South Thomas Drive, they’ve installed new pipes underground to carry the drinking water.  You may remember them sitting along the side of the road (on the south side, by Laketown Wharf) last summer – they were light green.  Well, they’re underground now and carrying all the drinking water for that area.

Prepping for new roads.

In a lot of the areas, they are prepping for the new road ways.  You may remember in days past, the South Thomas Drive corridor was a horribly pitted, bumpy roadway.  Two lanes of misery, coupled with one of the busiest areas every season made this a difficult road to maintain.  The future of this roadway will hold two full traffic lanes, a center turn lane, and a tram lane and sidewalks on both sides.  So, there is a considerable amount of widening taking place.

Landscaping to start soon.

There are two ponds with this portion of the CRA – one behind the McDonalds by Wal-Mart, and one right across from Boardwalk next to Alvins Island on South Thomas Drive.  Each will begin landscaping treatment in the next couple months. The final product for both of these ponds will be highly amenitized with lighting, sidewalks, seating areas and lush, native vegetation.

The whole project is expected to be complete by this time next year, and over the next couple months, you’ll really start to see things move as much of the underground work is complete. When the project is done, you’ll have no more power lines, you’ll have wide streets, sidewalks and a dedicated tram/bicycle lane.  We can’t wait.

10 thoughts on “CRA Update – S Thomas Drive One Year Until Done

  1. This project is already six months behind schedule. Ask DRMP or the city what the original scheduled completion date was. It was October of 2010. Now it is Feb/March of 2012 and continuing to slide backwards.


    Secondly, and now just nit picking the article, the south side of the road is not Laketown Wharf. That would be the north side. The south side would be Pineapple Willies. And finally, get up to date on your ANSI color codes. Green pipes don’t carry fresh water. Those are pressurized sewage mains and drain lines. Blue pipes carry potable drinking water.


      1. Joe,

        Sorry if you think six months behind schedule on a construction project this size isn’t the norm. Every project I can think of that I’ve been around on this beach has run behind. Things happen.

        And I wasn’t saying Laketown Wharf was on the South side of Thomas drive, but rather on the south side of the CRA project and on South Thomas Drive.

        Sheesh. I’m getting tired of you people always “nit-picking” everything. Go bother the News Herald or something, they make plenty of errors too.


  2. Jason,
    I appreciate what you do. I live in Nashville and visit pcbdaily all the time. You came through big time last summer with your live morning updates from the beach regarding the oil spill. Keep doing what your doing, a lot of people enjoy this site.


  3. Thanks Jason , maybe you need to have an ANSI certified civil engineer or the planning board review your comments before publishing them. Wouldn’t take more than five or six months, do it just like the city and county do. Wouldn’t cost too much more than a zillion dollars and you wouldn’t have to live with the intellectualy correct adverse comments. Your great articles help keep us ignorant civilians up to date. Green, blue, orange, brown, who knows and who cares as long as it gets the poo and water where it needs to go, and its done right. Hope them professionals know the difference between them green and blue pipes,t hat’s what really counts.

    Or maybe you could just leave out the details like the politicans do.

    Of course I am always confused my office on the East side, North of South Tyndall Parkway, on Highway 98 West.

    Actually I apreciate the intellectually correct comments too. Now I know the difference bewtween the blue and green pipe. How come some is orange or tan, or white. Might be nice to know what they are also. Thanks to all.

    Again, Thanks for the update!

    Jim Morin


  4. Jason,

    You are right, the project was suppose to be finished on September 27th, 2011. Due to unforseen circumstances, like unmarked underground utlities, weather delays, and other engineering issues that come up in the field have caused these delays. These things do happen when you are digging underground like this. I know first hand that the CRA is doing their part to keep the schedule and the contractor on time.

    What the CRA and the City is not telling you, is that they probably chose the wrong contractor for the job. If Anderson Columbia or GAC were doing the job, they would have the proper leadership, equipment, and manpower to complete the project ontime. Instead they chose a contractor based out of Georgia that has no leadership or equipment in the Panama City Beach area. Also, during the course of the project the contractor doing the job has sold his company to a conglomerate COLAS NA under the direction of Reeves Construction back in July/August 2010. Another company based out of Georgia. Do you think this may have slowed the job down some? I dont remember seeing to much activity during this time.

    Now the contractor performing on the project has gone through multiple leadership changes and had to start over in planning and building the proper team to build the project. What amount of delays do you think may have been caused by this shift in management?

    Do you think the CRA and the City would have grounds for collecting liquidated damages for delays that were not due to unforeseen circumstances like this sale of the company? I believe the liquidated damages are $3,598 per each day the project is not delivered on time. You do the math….


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