Toll road revamp goes to DeSantis
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - A bill that would scuttle large parts of a plan to build and expand toll roads was formally sent Wednesday to Gov. Ron DeSantis.
The bill (SB 100) takes aim at a law --- known as the Multi-use Corridors of Regional Economic Significance, or M-CORES, law --- that was pushed through the Legislature by former Senate President Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton.
The 2019 law called for building a toll road from Collier County to Polk County; extending Florida’s Turnpike to connect with the Suncoast Parkway; and extending the Suncoast Parkway from Citrus County to Jefferson County.
But the bill passed this year would eliminate the planned road between Collier and Polk counties, while requiring plans to extend the turnpike west from Wildwood to the Suncoast Parkway and to lay out a route that would weave the Suncoast Parkway north along U.S. 19 to connect with Interstate 10 in Madison County.
The proposed changes drew support from environmental groups and business lobbyists. Environmental groups have fought the 2019 law because of concerns about sprawl and damage to natural habitats.
The M-CORES projects were promoted by Galvano as a way to help handle future growth, and he linked the roads with adding broadband and other infrastructure. The proposed changes came after recommendations from task forces that looked at the M-CORES projects last year.
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