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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:

Task Force Meeting #5 – March 24, 2020 Date TBD- 10:00 am – 4:00 pm – Monticello First Church of the Nazarene, 1590 N. Jefferson Street, Monticello, FL 32344

Task Force Meeting #6 – April 14, 2020 – 9:30 am – 4:30 pm – College of Central Florida Citrus Learning Center, 3800 S. Lecanto Hwy, Lecanto, FL 34461

Community Open House – April date, time and location TBD

Task Force Meeting #7 – June 9, 2020 – 10:00 am – 4:00 pm – Suwannee River Fair Pavilion, 17851 90 Ave., Fanning Springs, FL 32693

Community Open House – June 11, 2020 – 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm – Gilchrist County Woman’s Club, 2107 S. Bronson Memorial Hwy, CR 339, Trenton, FL 32693

Task Force Meeting #8 – July 16, 2020 – 10:00 am – 4:00 pm – IFAS Auditorium,  203 Forest Park Drive,  Perry, FL 32348

Task Force Meeting #9 – September 1, 2020 – 10:00 am – 4:00 pm – Madison Church of God Life Center, 771 NE Colin Kelly Hwy, Madison, FL 32340 

Anticipated Meetings:

Florida Transportation Commission Presentation – July 2020

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

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