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Florida bill passed to create 3 new toll highways.

Florida bill passed to create 3 new toll highways.

A new bill passed. Florida is now allowed to build three new major toll highways, including one in Collier County. One of the highways would connect Collier County to Lakeland which is located between Tampa and Orlando. Another highway would connect from North end of Florida Turnpike to Suncoast Parkway. Another would extend the Suncoast Parkway from Citrus County to Jefferson County, which is north near the Georgia border.

The thought was that this will spur job growth in rural areas, relieve traffic on Interstates 75 and 4 and provide new hurricane evacuation routes.Some are opposed saying that the construction of the highways should wait on studies that could shed light on whether these roadways would harm wetlands or wildlife.

There are also concerns that these highways would bring more urban sprawl to the state of Florida. The proposals would extend the Suncoast Parkway from the Tampa Bay area north to the Georgia border, extend the Florida Turnpike west to hook up with the Suncoast Parkway and build a new transportation corridor from Polk County to Collier County. The supporters are saying the state has to prepare for the future. Senate President Bill Galvano made the highways a priority.

The Florida Highway of Transportation says they’re also planning to expand I-75 from 6 lanes to 8 or 10!Funding for the project will grow from $35,000,000 this year to $140,000,000 a year in four years. All would be toll roads. Construction would begin before Dec. 31, 2022, with a goal of opening all three highways to traffic by Dec. 31, 2030. The task forces would select the exact routes. A feasibility study is due next year.

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