Florida Seeks to Speed Up Twenty Highway Projects

Governor Ron DeSantis has requested $4b to accelerate 20 highway projects.

Source : Unsplash

July 17, 2023

Author : Alex Bustillos

With the close of the legislative session, Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida requested $4b to accelerate 20 highway projects stretching from Central Florida to South Florida. He wants to accelerate the “Moving Florida Forward” project.   

"I requested $4 billion for Moving Florida Forward so we can get ahead of some of these traffic problems," Gov. DeSantis stated in a news conference. "Some of these items may take 20 years. I want to accelerate that to get it done much sooner. And the Legislature responded."

Florida is one of the fastest-growing states, and this investment will go toward addressing traffic congestion and road safety, supporting state and national supply chain arteries, and leading to the establishment of the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) as the national leader of transportation technology.

DeSantis put forward numerous projects while pitching his plan in January. Some of these include: 

  • $1.451b for the reconstruction of I-4 in Central Florida from Champions Gate to the Osceola Parkway
  • $479 million to add auxiliary lanes between I-75 between Wildwood and Ocala
  • $340m will be granted to improve I-95 and U.S. 1 interchange in Ormond Beach
  • $162m for widening the I-10 near Pensacola
  • $150m in upgradation of the I-95 interchange at Golden Glades in South Florida.

The four-year proposal wants to borrow an additional $3 billion for the project and calls for two $2 billion transfers from general revenue to the State Transportation Trust Fund

Legislators approved a $117b budget (SB 2500) before adjourning for the fiscal year 2023-2024.

Some other funding that has got approval during this legislative session are:

  • Lawmakers approve $13.6b, up from the current $12.6b, for the FDOT's five-year work program, which provides for multiple projects throughout the state.
  • Following Senate Bill 106, lawmakers approved spending $200m to expand the SunTrail Network throughout the state. DeSantis has already signed the law.
  • $150.5m was granted for projects and funding related to seaports.
  • $100,000 is approved for a marketing campaign to highlight "the rewarding career paths in the road and bridge construction industry."
  • Enactment of House Bill, HB 425, to enhance the state's "Move Over Law," which mandates motorists to pull over when possible for first responders, utility trucks, garbage trucks, and wreckers on the roadside. The law would mandate moving over for disabled vehicles.

The grants allocated to the state comprise funding for numerous local transportation projects, including areas that suffered due to Hurricane Ian

Some of these local projects are a $51.67m grant to Lee County for Sanibel Causeway corridor repairs and a $12.4m grant for Matlacha corridor repairs; a $5m grant to Pasco County for the construction of a Moffitt Cancer Center Life Sciences Campus road; $4.5m to Wauchula Municipal Airport for extension of runway and taxiway.

A series of road designations (HB 21) is also approved by the lawmakers, including: 

  • Designating the bridge in Brevard County crossing State Road 3 over the Canaveral Barge Canal named in honor of Christa McAuliffe
  • Designating the State Road 405's new NASA Causeway Bridge across the Indian River in Brevard County for astronaut Sally Ride
  • Designating a Cortez Boulevard stretch in Hernando County in honor of the late Republican radio star Rush Limbaugh

Category : Department of Transportation State Government Freeways and Highways

Related Article