MEXICO BEACH — Tyndall Air Force Base security reopened U.S. 98 at midday Thursday, ending a long detour for many commuters between Bay and Gulf counties.
The highway had been closed after the crash of an unmanned Air Force drone Wednesday.
Col. Mark O’Laughlin, 325th Fighter Wing vice commander, reiterated Thursday what officials had said since the crash, that the closing of the road was precautionary.
“This closure was done strictly as a precautionary measure due to a small self-destruct charge carried on board the target,” O‘Laughlin said. “We understand that the closure of Highway 98 was a huge inconvenience to our local community and we appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding as we put the safety of first responders and populace as the top priority.”