Florida lawmakers have given their endorsement to Governor Ron DeSantis’ ambitious plan, “Moving Florida Forward,” aimed at expediting the progress of 20 crucial highway construction projects across the state. With the conclusion of the Legislative Session last week, the program was greenlighted as part of a broader budget allocation of $117 billion
Governor DeSantis articulated the significance of the initiative, noting that it would cater to the demands of a rapidly growing state. The program includes a substantial investment of $4 billion, intended to accelerate the completion of certain transportation projects that might otherwise take up to two decades. DeSantis emphasized his intention to expedite these projects, remarking, “I want to accelerate that to get it done much sooner, and the Legislature responded.”
The “Moving Florida Forward” program will also involve the acquisition of an additional $3 billion through borrowing, thus contributing to a comprehensive four-year, $7 billion initiative focused on addressing traffic congestion in high-density areas of the state.
Among the key projects that will benefit from this acceleration are the reconstruction of Interstate 4 from ChampionsGate to the Osceola Parkway in Central Florida, the redesigning of the Interstate 95 and U.S. 1 interchange in Ormond Beach, the widening of a segment of Interstate 75 in Southwest Florida near Fort Myers and Naples, and the reconstruction of the Fruitville Road interchange in Sarasota County.
Governor DeSantis expressed his concern that waiting for the originally projected 20 years for these projects to be completed was impractical, highlighting that the projects were already in the pipeline and approved by local communities. The allocated funds would be the catalyst needed to get these projects off the ground.
Jared Perdue, the Secretary of the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), referred to “Moving Florida Forward” as the most substantial investment in road construction during his 20-year tenure with the state. Despite concerns expressed by some lawmakers about the feasibility of the program given FDOT’s other ongoing projects, the budget ultimately included the $4 billion allocation for the program.
The endorsement of this program signifies Florida’s proactive stance in addressing its growing transportation needs and alleviating traffic congestion in key areas.
Original Article By Gabrielle Russon Florida Politics