By direction of Governor Ron DeSantis (R), the Florida Department of Transportation is planning to speed up work on another 40 transportation projects statewide by at least 650 total contract days – taking advantage of lower traffic volumes resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
[Above photo by the Florida DOT.]
“The transportation industry is vital to our economy and is essential as we move forward to re-open Florida,” explained Kevin Thibault, Florida DOT’s secretary, in a statement. “We will continue to accelerate projects as much as possible, while also incorporating CDC [Center for Disease Control] safety and sanitation guidelines.”
The agency initially began accelerating work on $2.1 billion worth of critical transportation infrastructure projects on April 1, speeding up work on the $864 million Howard Frankland Bridge project in the Tampa Bay area by nearly four weeks, the widening Southern Boulevard (SR 80) in western Palm Beach County by nearly three months, and the $802 million I-395/SR 836/I-95 Design Build reconstruction project outside of Miami – in coordination with the local expressway authority – by four weeks.
“The governor understands that Florida’s transportation system is the backbone of our economy and FDOT is proud to accelerate projects, which will help expedite goods to market and provide much needed jobs throughout the state,” Thibault noted in an earlier statement.
In a separate announcement, the Florida DOT and Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise resumed food services at eight tollway plazas, with hours of operation modified in order to limit potential exposure and spread of the COVID-19 virus.