Governor unveils infrastructure funding boost, beach fortification plan

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Florida Construction News staff writer

Gov. Ron DeSantis this week announced investments to strengthen the state’s defenses against hurricanes through infrastructure improvements, beach fortification and support for homeowners.

Infrastructure funding through the Resilient Florida Grant Program which provides grants to strengthen coastal and inland communities against the impacts of flooding.

“Strong infrastructure is the best way to protect against the impacts of a future hurricane,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “We are making investments that strengthen our state, help homeowners strengthen their homes, and increase our coastal protection against a storm.”

To support infrastructure improvements, the Governor highlighted $100 million in funding for the Resilient Florida Program appropriated in Senate Bill 1638, which was signed earlier this month.

The program was established in 2021 to harden coastal infrastructure and help communities prepare for the impacts of flooding and hurricanes through targeted funding and directives that enhance efforts to protect our inland waterways, coastlines, shores, and coral reefs, all of which serve as invaluable defenses against flooding.

With funding for the upcoming year, Florida has invested a total of $1.8 billion through the Resilient Florida Program, awarding more than 320 grants for comprehensive vulnerability assessments and 351 resilience projects. Additionally, since 2019, the Florida Department of Transportation work program has supported over $3.8 billion to reconstruct bridges to better withstand winds and over $1.1 billion to support our coastal seaports.

Also, to continue to fortify beaches, $50 million will be included in the Fiscal Year 2024-2025 budget to support beach nourishment projects.

“Florida’s coastlines are its first defense against a storm and ensuring that the state’s beaches are strong is important to protect our coastal infrastructure,” DeSantis said. “With this investment, Florida will have invested over $550 million in dedicated funds to beach nourishment since 2019.”

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