Article by: Erin Pemberton

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BAY COUNTY, Fla. – Bay County Commissioners decided on a construction company for a local site that will be getting a much needed upgrade.

County Commissioners made an agreement with the Florida Department of Transportation to replace the Cooks Bayou Bridge and build a brand new one at the Bay County Commission meeting Tuesday morning.

They awarded over 8.5 million dollars to Anderson Columbia Co., Inc. to construct a new bridge.

County Commissioners also authorized uses of surtax funds of over 400 thousands dollars from District Four for project contingency.

Bay County Commissioner, Guy Tunnell of District Four, said the project has been a long time coming and is a much needed improvement.

“For years that bridge has been literally falling apart. We’ve had to patch it and re-patch it. To build a brand new one out there will be a great service to the community, particularly in and around Cooks Bayou and especially for Eastern Marine. They’re a major employer here in Bay County and a driver in our economy. There’s great things on the horizon for them,” he said.

Construction on the new bridge is anticipated to begin in about four to six weeks.