The Florida legislature has approved a bill to build three toll-road additions, which would be the state’s largest road project since Florida Turnpike construction began about 50 years ago.
The legislation, awaiting signature from Gov. Ron DeSantis, would add 330 miles of new toll roads to the turnpike system.
The bill is the priority of Senate President Bill Galvano and is designed to move forward planning and design for the:
- Southwest-Central Florida Connector – a new toll road between Collier County and Interstate 4 near Orlando.
- Suncoast Connector – extending the Suncoast Parkway in the western part of the state from Citrus County to the Georgia line.
- Northern Turnpike Connector – extending the northern end of the Florida Turnpike at Interstate 75, northwest to the Suncoast Parkway.
The bill would create a task force for each of the three corridors to include “representatives of appropriate state agencies, water management districts, local governments, Metropolitan Planning Organizations, and Regional Planning Councils as well as several conservation, community and environmental organizations,” according to a news release from Galvano’s office.
It calls for construction on the projects to begin by the end of 2022 and be completed by the end of 2030.
The bill has met fierce opposition from environmental groups that are calling on the governor to veto the measure. The Florida Chamber of Commerce and other business interests back the legislation.