FDOT drops proposed routes for Northern Turnpike Extension, will focus on I-75
The Florida Department of Transportation announced Thursday that -- for now at least -- it has stopped pursuing the Northern Turnpike Extension.
In the short term, FDOT will prioritize improvements to I-75 instead.
The decision follows overwhelming public opposition to the toll road from environmentalists and from local governments and rural neighborhoods in its path, like the historic African-American community of Royal.
Royal resident Beverly Steele wants to keep communication open with FDOT.
"It is good news," Steele said. "To me it means they're going back to the drawing board."
A law passed last year required FDOT to study the extension of Florida's Turnpike starting at Wildwood. Now the agency says it cannot recommend any of the four proposed routes.
But the announcement does not settle on the no-build option.
FDOT Secretary Jared Perdue promises to get community engagement as "we continue to refine and develop viable corridor concepts for this area."