Florida State Road 97
State Road 97 (SR 97) is a south-north two-lane highway entirely in Escambia County, Florida. It runs from County Road 95A, just southeast of U.S. Highway 29 in Molino, to the Alabama state line near Atmore, where it becomes State Route 21. The road runs through the community of Walnut Hill and serves primarily to connect Pensacola to the northwest Escambia County and Atmore areas. In combination with SR 21, the road also provides a connection to Interstate 65.
|Maintained by FDOT|
|Length||22.507 mi (36.222 km)|
|South end||CR 95A in Molino|
| US 29 in Molino|
CR 99A in Walnut Hill
|North end||SR 21 in Atmore, AL|
SR 97 heads northwest from its southern terminus at County Road 95A, just east of passing under U.S. Highway 29/SR 95, in Molino. The road heads northwest through rural Escambia County and slowly turns into a northerly direction as it approaches Walnut Hill, north of which it is also known as Atmore Highway. Heading directly north from Walnut Hill, the road meets its northern terminus south of Atmore at the Alabama state line, where it becomes State Route 21. SR 97 intersects with several county roads, but does not meet with other state roads or US highways.
The Florida Department of Transportation annual average daily traffic (AADT) numbers for 2012 show average numbers between 5,600 vehicles on the southern portion of the road, decreasing to 4,300 vehicles around Walnut Hill, and again increasing to 5,000 north of Walnut Hill, back to 5,600 vehicles at the road's northern terminus.
A 1922 map of Florida auto trails shows an unimproved auto trail running from Quintette, south of Molino, through what appears to be the Walnut Hill area, and then to Atmore. It appears that the portion of today's SR 97 from Walnut Hill (starting around mile 15) to its northern terminus corresponds to this 1922 auto trail. The southern portion also appears on this map, but is indicated as an unimportant road.
In 1935, the current routing of SR 97, from Molino northwest to Walnut Hill, then north to Atmore, was extant as a third-class graded road, and was signed as SR 87 at the time.
By 1955, SR 4 is being shown as a bituminous road, with its start at the intersection with US 29/SR 95 (now CR 95A) west of Molino, and traveling its current routing to Atmore. The road intersected what were then SR 99 and SR 380 (now both CR 99) around Walnut Hill, and SR 4 (now CR 4) south of the Alabama state line.
On maps from 1978, the entire road had been paved in hard surface. The state roads it had intersected in 1955 had all been re-signed as county roads, bringing SR 97 to its current form.
The entire route is in Escambia County.
|0.610||0.982||US 29 (SR 95) – Cantonment, Century||south end of state maintenance|
|Walnut Hill||13.509||21.741||CR 99 north|
|14.246||22.927||CR 99 south|
|15.134||24.356||CR 99A (Arthur Brown Road)|
|||17.143||27.589||CR 164 east|
|||20.050||32.267||CR 4 east – Century|
|||22.507||36.222||SR 21 north – Atmore||Continuation beyond Alabama state line|
|1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi|
- FDOT straight line diagrams Archived March 6, 2014, at the Wayback Machine, accessed February 2014
- Florida Department of Transportation. "Florida County maps - Escambia County" (PDF). Retrieved November 14, 2013.
- Florida Department of Transportation. "FDOT GIS Geodatabase data". Retrieved November 14, 2013.
- Florida Department of Transportation. "FDOT Florida Traffic Online (2012)". Archived from the original on July 28, 2013. Retrieved November 14, 2013.
- Rand McNally. "Rand McNally official 1922 auto trails map, district no. 21, State of Florida". Birmingham Public Library Digital Collections. Retrieved November 14, 2013.
- Florida -- State Road Dept. "State of Florida by counties State Road Dept. series (Escambia) - 1935". George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida. Retrieved November 14, 2013.
- Florida - Traffic and Planning Division United States - Bureau of Public Roads. "Escambia County, Florida general highway map - 1955". George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida. Retrieved November 14, 2013.
- Florida Dept. of Transportation. "General highway map Escambia County - 1978". George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida. Retrieved November 14, 2013.