Governor makes public transportation $10.8 billion priority

Governor Rick Scott today announced to local Historic City News reporters that the Florida Department of Transportation will receive a historic $10.8 billion in the recommended FY 2018-2019 “Securing Florida’s Future” budget to keep Florida’s transportation and infrastructure system the best in the nation.

As Florida prepares for future growth and demand on our transit systems, Governor Scott says he is continuing to prioritize public transportation solutions for those who rely on them every day.

“Transportation infrastructure plays an important role in helping support our booming economy, growing population and record numbers of visitors,” Governor Scott said.  “By making historic investments in Florida’s transportation system for the past five years, we have solidified Florida as a national leader and a global destination for trade. I am proud to announce that the Securing Florida’s Future budget will continue this success with a $10.8 billion investment in our roads, bridges, airports and seaports, which will make sure our state remains prepared for future growth and job creation.”

Florida Transportation Builders’ Association President Bob Burleson said, “Governor Scott’s budget continues his commitment to providing Florida’s families and visitors a safe and congestion-free transportation system through strategic infrastructure investments.”

The Governor’s FY 2018-2019 transportation budget makes the following investments:

  • $1 billion to expand transportation system capacity, which includes adding 269 new lane miles
  • $186.1 million for safety initiatives
  • $171.6 million in seaport infrastructure improvements
  • $359.0 million for aviation improvements
  • $167.7 million for scheduled repair of 63 bridges and replacement of 18 bridges
  • $1 billion for maintenance and operation
  • $568 million for public transit development grants
  • $151.3 million for bike and pedestrian trails of which $26.7 million is for SUN Trail.

Florida Department of Transportation Secretary Mike Dew said, “Governor Scott’s record transportation budget continues to give Florida the best infrastructure in the nation. The additional transportation investment increases our state’s economic activity, creates jobs and gets our residents to their work and back to their families safely and efficiently.”

The Governor’s Securing Florida’s Future budget makes the following transportation investments in Northeast Florida:

  • $289M project for construction of the First Coast Expressway into Clay and St. Johns counties. The project will increase capacity and relieve congestion for traveling motorists on the East Coast of Florida by providing a limited access, all-electronic toll roadway.
  • $23.5M to continue state contributions for the JAXPORT channel deepening and widening project. Along with local and federal funding, this state investment will continue the United States Army Corps of Engineers efforts to expand the waterway, thus strengthening Florida’s position as a national cargo gateway.
  • $34M for the long-term repair of SR A1A Segment 3 from North of 18th Street to South of Osprey Drive in Flagler Beach and Beverly Beach, Flagler County. This section of roadway was damaged in 2016 during Hurricane Matthew. The recommended improvement in this section involves constructing approximately 5,000 feet of buried retaining wall to help this area better withstand storms.
  • $15M for a new, two-lane roadway 3.4 miles in length beginning at the western terminus of Arnold Road and ending at the intersection of Lannie Road and Ethel Road in Duval County. This project will provide direct access from Interstate 95 to the Jacksonville National Cemetery.
  • $66M project to expand SR 20 from the Alachua County line to Southwest 56th Avenue, Putnam County. This project is vital as it will provide additional capacity for the Strategic Intermodal System (SIS) between Gainesville and Palatka and will relieve traffic congestion in the area.

Florida Airports Council President and CEO Lisa Lyle Waters said, “Florida’s airports continue to see record passenger and business growth and are among our nation’s leaders in passenger volume as a result of unprecedented investments by Governor Scott. This year’s budget builds on a billion-dollar foundation to create a safe and efficient airport network for Florida’s families, businesses and visitors.”

Florida Transportation Commission Chairman Jay Trumbull said, “Governor Scott’s record of prudent, consistent growth in his transportation budgets continues to stimulate increased economic activity and population growth. He recognizes that these investments are necessary to continue our upward trend.”

Florida Ports Council President and CEO Doug Wheeler said, “The record growth in Florida’s seaports are a direct result of the over $1 billion investment by Governor Scott and the Florida Legislature. More competitive, efficient and safer than ever, Florida’s ports make the state a worldwide hub for international commerce and destination cruises.”

Floridians for Better Transportation President Sally Patrenos said, “Governor Scott knows that we need to seek innovative solutions today to solve tomorrow’s transportation challenges. His budget builds on his record levels of infrastructure funding to prepare us for future growth.”

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