Florida governor announces $9.9 billion transportation plan

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | 11/30/2015

Florida Gov. Rick Scott has announced a nearly $10 billion plan to fund transportation projects for the next year.

The state Department of Transportation would receive $9.9 billion to help get needed infrastructure work done via the governor’s overall $79.3 billion, 2016-2017 state budget proposal, dubbed “Florida First.”

The amount is about $80 million less than one year ago when the governor’s “It’s Your Money Tax Cut Budget” secured more than $10 billion for road work.

Roads and bridges would receive the bulk of funding for projects throughout the state. One-third of the funds would be applied for new highway construction.

The governor said his administration is making critical infrastructure investments in state highways, bridges, seaports, airports, transit and trails.

“Having a strong infrastructure system is vital to our continued economic growth and making Florida first for job growth,” Scott said in prepared remarks. “We consistently have a top-rated infrastructure system, and we will continue to make strategic investments to make Florida first for transportation.”

Allotments for projects via the transportation budget include:

  • $3.3 billion for construction of highway projects;
  • $963.4 million for infrastructure maintenance and operation;
  • $731.9 million to repair or replace 69 bridges;
  • $159 million for road safety initiatives;
  • $153.9 million in seaport infrastructure improvements; and
  • $46.6 million for bike and pedestrian trails.

Among the projects that would receive funding in northeast Florida is $43.8 million to add lanes and reconstruct the existing state Route 200 from Interstate 95 to west of Still Quarters Road in Nassau County.

The main project to benefit northwest Florida is $496.5 million to replace the Pensacola Bay Bridge in Escambia County. In the southeast portion of the state, $247 million would be allotted to improve and expand the I-395 corridor in Miami-Dade County.

In east central Florida, $246 million would be applied to a project to extend the Wekiva Parkway five miles from Lake County into Seminole County.

The Legislature must approve the governor’s state budget proposal. The issue will be addressed during the regular session that begins Jan. 12, 2016.

To view other legislative activities of interest for Florida, click here.

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