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Nearly $9 million worth of public infrastructure projects in Pensacola have passed a major hurdle and could soon be ready to begin implementation as early as 2018, officials said today.

Escambia County was notified Friday that the county’s RESTORE Multi-Year Implementation Plan has been approved by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, with the department finding the plan to be complete and conforming to RESTORE Act regulations.

One of the proposed projects set to receive funding is the Hollice T. Williams Greenway and Stormwater Park, which is estimated to cost more than $4 million. (City of Pensacola/Special to The Pulse)

The county’s MYIP includes 10 projects selected by the Escambia County Board of County Commissioners for a total of $8,638,650 of the funds available in Escambia County’s allocation in the Gulf Coast Restoration Trust Fund. The approval comes after a three-year process that included diligent efforts from the RESTORE Advisory Committee, along with a 45-day public comment period for citizens to give input on the projects.

The 10 projects, which vary from a 1.3-mile urban greenway park beneath Interstate 110 near downtown Pensacola to planning for a massive commerce park adjacent to the $1 billion Navy Federal Credit Union campus, are set to be funded from fines resulting from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

A plan to restore the Carpenter’s Creek and Bayou Texar watershed includes stream/floodplain restoration and low impact development. (Drew Buchanan/The Pulse)

Treasury’s acceptance of the MYIP is not a final determination for the projects, but the approval allows Escambia County to begin individual grant applications for the projects included in the MYIP. The Treasury Department will review the applications to determine if the requested funding complies with the RESTORE Act and regulations, along with federal law and policies on grants. It is anticipated that final adoption of grant awards will occur in February 2018, with projects beginning shortly thereafter.

The majority of the funding set for final approval in February will be for each project’s planning and design phase, with funding for construction coming shortly thereafter. Officials said earlier this year that the $8.6 million in projects are just the beginning of nearly $71 million that’s expected to come to Escambia County over the next 14 years.

The projects to be included in the first round of funding include:

1.The Carpenter Creek and Bayou Texar Economic and Environmental Revitalization Plan

2. Project Universal Access

3. Perdido Key Gulf of Mexico Beach Access

4. Perdido Key Multi-Use Path

5. OLF-8 Commerce Park Improvements

6. South Dogtrack Drainage Project

7. Eleven Mile Creek Restoration

8. Eleven Mile Creek Basin

9. Hollice T. Williams Stormwater Park and Greenway

10. SOAR with RESTORE

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