The devastation to Scenic Highway at I-10 is classic Florida DOT. They do it and ride the resulting public outcry out. It was of course inexcusable. It ruined the entrance to Scenic Highway.
You can bet this: It would never happen in Don Gaetz’ district.
They did not honestly disclose what they intended to do because they knew the public protest would be substantial. They did not disclose to any elected or appointed official they intended to clear cut the entire area on both sides of the highway. Now Pensacola has toilet bowl drainage ditches as the entrance to our community off of I-10 because DOT saved money doing it. They hold public meetings alright but they are for appearances only. They already know what they are going to do before a public meeting is held.
Look at the Admiral Mason Park that the City of Pensacola built where, prior to the election of the mayor, a sediment holding pond was planned. We could have done something similar at Scenic highway and I-10 Had DOT sought the input of our community leaders a better plan could surely have been developed.
So what happens now to the DOT person who brought the bulldozers and chain saws to cut every living thing he could cut? Nothing will happen to whoever did this in the time honored history of the DOT. If elected officials complained DOT would withhold other discretionary funding. Complain too loud and they punish your community so our officials just accept it. Running fast and loose over community leaders is why we have major DOT planning mistakes in our community. It would help if DOT officials lived here but, they don’t.
~ Bob Kerrigan