Population growth a key for FDOT planning

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Florida Construction News staff writer

Looking ahead to 2024, growth and increased tourism are factors in upcoming Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) infrastructure projects.

Many priority projects will continue this year, including replacing the John T. Brooks Bridge with a new six-lane structure with 10-foot inside and outside shoulders.

The $171 million design-build project includes a 12-foot wide shared-use path will also be constructed in each direction for pedestrians and bicyclists. The shared-use paths will be separated from traffic with protective barrier walls and feature scenic overlooks and shade structures. The work zone extends from Eglin Parkway (Florida Place Southeast) to Pier Road in Fort Walton Beach.

The new bridge will span 2,111 feet, 793 feet longer than the current one.

New projects slated for construction in 2024 include the Southwest 10th Street Connector in Deerfield Beach, widening of S.R. 70 from Bourneside Boulevard to Waterbury Road in Bradenton, enhancements to I-95 at Golden Glades Interchange in Miami, reconstruction of I-4 from Champions Gate to Osceola Parkway in Davenport, and interchange improvements at I-4 and S.R. 33 in Lakeland as well as I-75 and Fruitville Road in Sarasota.

“With several landmark projects nearing completion and others beginning construction, FDOT will modernize Florida’s transportation network and positively impact the quality of life of Floridians and of our visitors,” FDOT Secretary Jared W. Perdue said in a statement.

“The Moving Florida Forward Infrastructure Initiative allows the Department to advance key projects in our current Work Program which will relieve congestion, maintain our robust supply chain, and keep pace with Florida’s growing needs and future demands.”

Gov. DeSantis’ 2024 budget includes $15.6 billion for statewide transportation projects, including $14.3 billion slated for the current year of the Five-Year Work Program.

Funding will include:

  • $5.4 billion for highway construction
  • $1.9 billion in resurfacing
  • $381.7 million for bridge maintenance repairs and replacements
  • $210.1 million for safety initiatives
  • $334.4 million in aviation advancements
  • $109.6 million in seaport improvements
  • $997.7 million in rail and transit enhancements

Also, $4 billion was allocated for the monumental Moving Florida Forward Infrastructure Initiative to advance 20 priority transportation projects years ahead of schedule to address congestion from unprecedented population growth and record-breaking tourism.

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