House panel approves 3 major highways

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The House Transportation and Tourism panel approved legislation to build three major highways in mostly rural areas of the state.

The bill, now moving to the Senate, allocates millions of dollars for the development. In addition, lawmakers recommended studies for potential highways between Polk and Collier counties, a northern extension of the Suncoast Parkway from Citrus to Jefferson counties and a westward extension of Florida’s Turnpike from Wildwood to connect to the Suncoast, The Associated Press reports.

Legislators proposed three task forces to study the impact of the proposed highways on everything from the environment to land uses to hurricane evacuations. Their work is due to the governor, Senate president and House speaker by June 2020.

Construction would begin before Dec. 31, 2022, with a goal of completing all three highways by Dec. 31, 2030.

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