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Project Name: Suncoast Connector

Project Website: https://floridamcores.com/suncoast-connector-task-force/

Impacted Counties: Citrus, Dixie, Gilchrist, Jefferson, Lafayette, Levy, Madison, Taylor

Condemning Authority: FDOT

Project Description:

The Suncoast Connector Corridor Study has begun. The Suncoast Connector expected to be 150 miles long. Property acquisition is tentatively scheduled to begin in the third quarter of 2021.

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 will be approximately 350 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 was initially expected to issue a final report by October 1, 2020. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the task forces have been given an extension through November 15, 2020 to complete their final reports. 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.

While no route has been determined, FDOT has released a map of where road improvements can be made along existing corridors.

Suncoast Avoidance and Enhancement Areas

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

Suncoast Avoidance Areas

Avoidance Area Features

 

Upcoming Meetings:

October 22, 2020 – 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m., Community Open House, Madison Church of God, 771 NE Colin Kelly Hwy, Madison, FL 32340

Task Force Meeting Videos:

Task force meeting video 08/27/2019

Task force meeting video 10/23/2019 part 1

Task force meeting video 10/23/2019 part 2

Task force meeting video 12/17/2019 part 1

Task force meeting video 12/17/2019 part 2

News articles:

Legislative Panels Kick Off Work on Toll Road Plans

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 toll roads to be unveiled in January

Toll road routes could emerge in early 2020

DeSantis approved these toll roads

Florida Senate president calls transportation’s five-year planning ‘not realistic’ for toll roads projects

Roads taking a toll on task force members as some struggle to understand need, origination

Task forces will get more scrutiny over toll roads

$90 million proposed M-Cores budget not guaranteed

Bill Galvano: Toll road funding on track despite opposition

Debate Set to Continue Over New Florida Toll Roads

Project Toll Road Path February 11, 2020?

M-CORES could revolutionize state’s transportation system

With Suncoast Parkway comes smart growth

FDOT Chief puts Suncoast Parkway 2 plans on hold pending task force outcome

Economic director updates county on connector road

Money for broadband access near toll roads advances in Senate

Council updates on Suncoast Connector

Small Florida town worries about toll road

Task force meets February 11, 2020

Task force meetings will plan for new roads

County needs right kind of change

Toll road task force meets

Toll Roads to Avoid Sensitive Areas; Environmentalists Not Swayed

Frustration In Florida As State Announces Toll Road Development In Rural Areas

Broadband projects could be linked to toll roads

Florida House backs broadband expansion effort

Will new toll roads bring economic prosperity? It’s too soon to tell, but sides are drawn

Florida lawmakers quietly pave way for new toll roads this session

Is Monticello safe?

Toll road reports could get extension through 11/15/2020

Coronavirus pandemic underscores need for road projects

Point of View: Increasing access to broadband in rural communities will make our state stronger

Toll road to stop at I-10

Florida’s new toll roads project plows ahead with virtual meetings

New Florida toll roads: 3rd meeting focuses on automated traffic systems

First Amendment group opposes webinars on toll roads

Environmentalists Oppose Tying Broadband Expansion To Toll Roads

Jim Tatum: New roads being pushed at worst possible time

Transportation Funds Allocated to MCORES in Bill Signed June 9, 2020

I-10 toll road not set in stone

Broadband expansion needed sooner than later

Toll road task forces offer webinars

FDOT promises in-person meeting on toll road

State Makes Changes On Toll Road Sessions

Controversial toll road project funding is still intact amid $1 billion in state budget cuts

Ron DeSantis approved $738 million for Florida’s controversial new toll roads

Controversial Florida toll road project gets boost in trimmed budget

What’s next for the Florida panther: From COVID-19 to new toll roads and beyond

Put the brakes on MCORES toll roads

‘Hybrid’ meetings set for planned toll roads

Watchdog groups raise financial concerns over Suncoast toll road

EDITORIAL: Maybe put toll roads on hold

Task force members still confused about process, need for proposed toll roads

Point of View: Now is the time for M-CORES

Nature of Things: Toll-road task forces power ahead

In the Know: The intersection with the pandemic, a $1 billion loss in one month and two possible local toll expressways

M-CORES toll roads a big step forward for Florida

Alachua County rejects state’s plan for new toll roads

Guest opinion: Proposed roads will take their toll on Florida panther

Why pave over rural Florida?

State Continues ‘Hybrid’ Meetings On Toll Roads

These are the roads to Florida’s future

Task Forces On Proposed New Florida Toll Roads Meet This Week

Reason Foundation Study Shows the State Can Make Billions With 50-Year Lease of the Florida Turnpike

As toll road plan is hotly debated, study says leasing turnpikes would save Florida taxpayers billions

FDOT seeks input through hybrid means

New toll roads pose a threat to a less spoiled part of Florida | Commentary

State should address critic’s concerns over superhighway extensions, but not end projects

Tax group questions basis for Suncoast Connector

Kill these 3 toll roads to nowhere before they do real harm

New infrastructure is critical for Florida

Florida accused of push for ‘roads to nowhere’ under cover of pandemic

New study refutes benefits of 3 proposed toll roads in Florida

Analysis: 3 planned toll roads, including project from Polk to Collier, not fiscally feasible

Study says new roads won’t fix Florida

M-CORES groups set to review recommendations

Environmentalists say new toll road would threaten Florida panthers

Still no answers from task forces looking into proposed Florida toll roads

Task force navigates Florida panther protection during toll road meeting

Report: Polk-to-Collier toll road shouldn’t plow new path

Outgoing Senate President Bill Galvano defends toll road projects

Task forces: Florida’s $10B toll-road plan is a ‘want,’ not a ‘need’

This Florida lawmaker’s toll roads project doesn’t have a public need. He still wants it.

Residents in path of Florida toll road react to report with fear, acceptance and anticipation

Public scrutiny ahead for Florida’s massive bond-financed toll road program

Toll road report now available online

FDOT held a New Toll Road Community Open House in Trenton

State needs don’t include toll roads

Task Force could not agree on need for a giant toll road

Collier commissioners show M-CORES support, with conditions

Thousands of public comments show overwhelming opposition to M-CORES toll-road projects

Opponents question information on toll roads

Critics of Florida toll roads projected to run through wild areas say the planning process is not transparent

State covered up opposition to toll road, group says

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