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Project Name: Southwest-Central Florida Connector

Project Website:

Effected Counties: Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Lee, Polk

Condemning Authority: FDOT

Project Description:

3 toll roads study areasThe Southwest-Central Florida Corridor Study is beginning. Routes could be chosen as early as January 2020. The route for this project is expected to be 140 miles long.

On May 17, 2019, Governor Ron DeSantis signed Senate Bill 7068, creating the Multi-use Corridors of Regional Economic Significance (M-CORES) Program within the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) in order to study the feasibility of three different regional corridors: The Suncoast Connector, The Northern Turnpike Connector, and The Southwest-Central Florida Connector. The three roads combined would be approximately 330 miles long.

The stated objective is to advance the construction of regional corridors that are intended to accommodate multiple modes of transportation and multiple types of infrastructure. This would include toll roads, trails, freight and passenger rail, and public transit; and multiple types of infrastructure, such as broadband, water and sewer services. FDOT is expected to perform a project evaluation, including a full Project Development and Environment (PD&E) study.

FDOT convened separate task forces to study each corridor. The first meeting was held on August 27, 2019 at the Tampa Convention Center. The task forces will make recommendations regarding the potential economic and environmental impacts of the corridor and other factors as specified in the M-CORES legislation. Each task force is expected to issue a final report by October 1, 2020. Project design is scheduled to begin immediately after the task forces issue their reports. FDOT will perform a project evaluation according to its own rules, policies, and procedures.

If feasible, construction is expected to begin no later than December 31, 2022.

Southwest-Central Florida Connector Task Force Meeting #2 is scheduled for October 30, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. (registration opens at 9:00 a.m.) at Polk State College – Lakeland Campus, 3425 Winter Lake Road, Lakeland, FL 33803. Public comments begin at 4:30 p.m. and comment stations will be available all day.

A Community Open House is scheduled for November 12, 2019, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., at the Wauchula Train Depot, 135 East Main Street, Wachula, FL 33873.

Southwest-Central Florida Connector Task Force Meeting #3 is scheduled for December 10, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. at the LaBelle Civic Center, 481 State Road 80, LaBelle, FL 33935.

Another Community Open House is scheduled for December 12, 2018, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., at North Collier Park – Exhibit Hall, 15000 Livingston Road, Naples, FL 34109.

News articles:

Task force meeting video 08/27/2019

The toll road is coming

No “no build” option reveals intent of toll roads

Who spoke up for adding 300 miles to Florida’s toll roads?

Routes for 3 new Florida tolls roads to be unveiled in January

Toll road routes could emerge in early 2020