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DeSantis signs bill repealing M-CORES toll road projects

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Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill Thursday repealing three massive toll-road projects he supported just two years ago.

The so-called M-CORES projects died amid widespread public disapproval and revenue shortfalls from COVID-19.

1000 Friends of Florida, a nonprofit group advocating for smart growth, opposed M-CORES.

Its president, Paul Owens, said they had two principal concerns: its location through environmentally sensitive land and rural communities and its top-down reversal of the Florida Department of Transportation’s normal planning process.

“We’re pleased to see the state giving up on the M-CORES plan for up to 330 miles of toll roads through some of the last, best natural land left in western Florida,” Owens said.

The new law, sponsored by Republican Sen. Gayle Harrell focuses instead on upgrading existing major corridors and widening rural roads. It aims to improve the flow on U.S. 19 and extend the Turnpike at Wildwood.

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Joe Byrnes

About Joe Byrnes


Joe Byrnes came to WMFE/WMFV from the Ocala Star-Banner and The Gainesville Sun, where he worked as a reporter and editor for several years. Joe graduated from Loyola University in New Orleans and turned to journalism after teaching. He enjoys freshwater fishing and family gatherings.