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Florida bill to repeal toll road projects clears Senate Transportation Committee


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State Sen. Gayle Harrell introduced Senate Bill 100 at the a meeting of the Transportation Committee on Wednesday. Image: Florida Channel


The Florida Senate Transportation Committee on Wednesday approved a Republican bill to repeal the 2019 law creating three massive toll road projects known as M-CORES.

As WMFE’s Joe Byrnes reports, Sen. Gayle Harrell wants to redirect funds to upgrade existing roads, widen rural highways and eventually turn U.S. 19 into a speedy route to I-10.

The South Florida senator wants to ditch M-CORES in light of the state’s tighter fiscal situation and the recommendations of three task forces.

“By revisioning our existing roadways,” she said, “we can accomplish the goals for better traffic flow, improved safety and necessary evacuation routes while saving taxpayer dollars. And that’s really what this bill does.”

Senate Bill 100 also requires a plan to extend the Florida Turnpike beyond I-75 at Wildwood. But where the turnpike would end up is still to be determined.

M-CORES extends it to the Suncoast Parkway.

The task forces questioned the need for M-CORES and raised a lot of concerns, like damage to minority communities and the environment.

Democrats want the new bill to incorporate those concerns.

The committee approved it along strictly party lines.


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Joe Byrnes

About Joe Byrnes

Reporter

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.

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