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Project Name: Suncoast Connector

Project Website:

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

Condemning Authority: FDOT

Project Description:

The Suncoast Connector Corridor Study has begun. Routes could be chosen as early as January 2020, with the Suncoast Connector expected to be 150 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 will 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.

Upcoming Meetings:

Task Force Meeting #3 – December 17, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. at the IFAS Auditorium, 203 Forest Park Drive, Perry, FL 32348.

Community Open House – December 19, 2019, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., at the Alton Family Life Center, 2365 East US 27, Mayo, FL 32055.

Anticipated Meetings:

Community Workshops – January-February 2020

Task Force Meeting #4 – February 2020 (Date, time and location TBD – announced via press release 11/8/2019).

Task Force Meeting #5 – March 11, 2020 in Madison County. Time and location TBD.

Community Open House – March 12, 2020, First Baptist Church in Jefferson County. Time TBD.

Task Force Meeting #6 – April 2020 (Date, time and location TBD – announced via press release 11/8/2019).

Community Workshops – April-May 2020

Task Force Meeting #7 – June 9, 2020, Tommy Usher Community Center, 506 SW 4th Ave., Chiefland, FL 32326. Time TBD.

Community Open House – June 11, 2020 in Gilchrist County. Time and location TBD.

Florida Transportation Commission Presentation – July 2020

Task Force Meeting #8 – August 4, 2020 in Taylor County. Time and location TBD.

Task Force Meeting #9 – September 1, 2020 in Dixie County. Time and location TBD.

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

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

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