Gov. DeSantis names 3 to Mid-Bay Bridge Authority

mid-bay bridge authority
The Mid-Bay Bridge Authority bills the bridge as 'the quickest way to Destin.'

The Mid-Bay Bridge Authority is seeing three familiar faces return after Gov. Ron DeSantis named his appointments to the panel this week.

Dewey “Parker” Destin continues his service on the Authority as a business owner and former public official — he owns Dewey’s Navarre and Dewey’s Destin Enterprises, and served local residents as a member of the Destin City Council. He currently serves as Deputy Director of the Gulf Coast Seafood Alliance.

Before getting into the seafood business, Destin earned a bachelor’s degree in business management and entrepreneurship from the University of Tampa and his law degree from the Florida Coastal School of Law.

Rejoining Destin is the current Chairman, James Neilson Jr., and Board member Kim Wintner. Neilson is a U.S. Army Reserves veteran with more than 20 years in the insurance industry and 18 on the Mid-Bay Bridge Authority. A former President and General Manager of the Sandpiper Cove Condominium Association, Neilson also served on the Rotary and Kiwanis clubs, the Destin Harbor Board and the Sacred Heart Foundation.

Wintner, President and Owner of Alliance Association Management Company, retired as a Colonel in the U.S. Air Force after 30 years. He presently serves on the Destin Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Directors and as the Chairman of the Destin Military Affairs Council. He received a bachelor’s degree in police administration from Indiana University and a master’s degree in human resources development from Webster University.

Both Destin and Neilson hail from Destin, while Wintner lives in Niceville.

The Mid-Bay Bridge Authority bills the bridge as “the quickest way to Destin,” a 3.6-mile, two-lane toll bridge that spans the Choctawhatchee Bay. The Authority also oversees the 11-mile Spence Parkway, a “tolled highway that connects the north end of the Mid-Bay Bridge with State Road 20, State Road 285 and State Road 85.” Also included in the Authority’s purview is a 0.8-mile stretch known as Wuerffel Way, which connects U.S. Highway 98 in Destin to the south end of the bridge.

Traffic safety on the bridge has been of recent debate, with the conclusion of a year-long study by the Florida Department of Transportation. A follow-up on the study is planned for the Authority’s meeting Jan. 19.

Wes Wolfe

Wes Wolfe is a reporter who's worked for newspapers across the South, winning press association awards for his work in Georgia and the Carolinas. He lives in Jacksonville and previously covered state politics, environmental issues and courts for the News-Leader in Fernandina Beach. You can reach Wes at [email protected] and @WesWolfeFP. Facebook:


  • Carmela Manies

    December 22, 2022 at 1:34 am

    I feel that the government leaders are not aware of what is really going on. I have been asking for help that I deserve and every time any kind of issues is brought to the attention of the person in which should be doing something for all the wrong doing that has been done. 1 way or the other I am going to get there attention for all the wrong doing it just never ends

  • Nancy

    December 22, 2022 at 8:57 am

    But it isn’t the “quickest” way to Destin anymore! It takes longer than going the entire stretch off 331 to 98. The traffic tie up to get through the Mid Bay Bridge is horrific and then you also have to pay to cross it/ the 331 bridge is free and never near as much traffic until you get to 98. The only reason hat has so much traffic is because Walton County has gotten so greedy they keep building and building and can’t even get the ball rolling on Finnish it the road work!! Why keep building in an OVERCROWDED environment anyway! It is amazing to me at the greed, ignorance and total disrespect of the environment that the people in Walton County have!

Comments are closed.


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