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Toll Road Project Could See Change In North Florida

Florida Turnpike Sign I-95 Interstate Metal Sign
Oze Creatives
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- stock.adobe.com
Three toll road projects previously approved by Florida lawmakers may undergo revisions during this legislative session.

Jefferson County would no longer be the northern end point for a proposed extension of the Suncoast Parkway, under a bill approved unanimously Tuesday by the House Commerce Committee.

The extension of the Suncoast Parkway from Citrus County to Jefferson County was one of three controversial toll-road projects approved by the Legislature in 2019.

The House bill (HB 6059), sponsored by Rep. Jason Shoaf, R-Port St. Joe, would remove a reference to Jefferson County in the law but doesn’t provide another proposed end point for the Suncoast Parkway extension.

The 2019 law, a priority of then-Senate President Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, also calls for building a toll road from Collier County to Polk County and extending Florida’s Turnpike to connect with the Suncoast Parkway.

Shoaf’s bill is moving forward as the Senate has passed a more far-reaching measure (SB 100) that would eliminate the planned toll road between Collier and Polk counties.

The Senate plan also would require state transportation officials to plan a turnpike extension west from Wildwood to the Suncoast Parkway and lay out a route that would weave the Suncoast Parkway north along U.S. 19 to connect with Interstate 10 in Madison County.