Florida lawmaker revises plans for toll road authority

| 10/30/2003

A previously nixed proposal in Florida that would create an expressway authority with the power to build toll roads and condemn property in the southwest part of the state is being reconsidered.

The proposal, introduced this past legislative session and then withdrawn, has been modified in an attempt to satisfy county commissioners affected by the initiative, state Rep. Mike Davis, R-Naples, told The News-Press.

Commissioners will have veto power under the revised bill, Davis said.

Davis won't file the bill this upcoming session until commissioners in Lee and Collier counties, which lie along the state's gulf coast north of the Everglades, pass resolutions of support. Another version of the bill includes Charlotte County. None of the counties has passed such a resolution.

Under the revised version, the authority would have the power to issue bonds that would be paid back by tolls.

Davis said his new bill would mention a handful of projects the authority would focus on first, with adding lanes to I-75 at the top of the list.