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toll roads

When Bill Galvano became the leader of the Florida Senate, he made it clear that his top priority was building new roads.

In January, weeks before the start of the legislative session, Galvano called for three new roads. He called them corridors. Lawmakers and Governor Ron DeSantis agreed with Galvano and now the state’s biggest road project in 50 years is moving forward.

With the expansion comes concerns about the potential environmental impact, along with the additional stress motorists will endure during construction.

Suncoast Parkway
Steve Newborn / WUSF Public Media

Gov. Ron DeSantis recently signed a bill that would mandate construction of a new toll road and extend two others through relatively untouched parts of the state. So WUSF took a drive to the end of the Suncoast Parkway  - at least for now - to see what we would find.

Florida will seek new bids in three years instead of renewing its contract with the company that oversaw last year’s botched SunPass conversion.
FourteenSixty / Flickr

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Friday signed a controversial measure aimed at expanding and building three toll roads on the western side of the state, with supporters saying the plan will help prepare for future growth and aid in disaster evacuations.

Gov. Ron DeSantis said Friday morning he will sign a bill instructing the state to build two new toll roads and extend a third through rural parts of the state.

"Veto! Veto! Veto!"

A group of about two dozen protesters chanted in front of the Tri-Rail station in Hollywood Tuesday. Together, they represented a handful of environmental groups that have been writing letters and calling Gov. Ron DeSantis's office, asking him to veto two bills on his desk.

Monday morning's commute along Interstate 295 between the Buckman Bridge and Interstate 95 could be significantly faster, but it will cost you.

Florida lawmakers finished the 2019 legislative session Saturday by passing a budget for the upcoming year.

Toll lanes on Interstate-295 between Interstate-95 and the Buckman Bridge are in the final calibrating stage before going into operation within the few months.

Anti-toll road press conference
Steve Newborn / WUSF Public Media

On Earth Day, Florida environmental groups took dead aim at a plan by lawmakers to build three new toll roads through the heart of the state.

Senate Poised To Take Up School Safety, Toll Roads

Apr 16, 2019

In two of the highest-profile issues of the 2019 legislative session, the Senate on Wednesday is slated to take up proposals designed to bolster school safety and build or expand three toll roads. 

Toll Road Plans Cruise In Senate

Apr 12, 2019

Plans for three new or expanded toll roads across rural areas of the state continued to roll through the Senate on Thursday, despite critics warning about sprawling development. 

Galvano Wants Suncoast Parkway To Extend To Georgia

Jan 30, 2019
News Service of Florida

Extending a toll road from the Tampa Bay area to Georgia, an idea pushed last year as a potential hurricane evacuation route, is a priority of Senate President Bill Galvano, who says it would aid rural communities.

leamericanos/Wikimedia Commons

The troubles with Florida's SunPass toll system started with what was to be a six-day upgrade in June. It's resulted in a major malfunction that led to motorists across Florida seeing their bank accounts being overdrawn and charged overdraft fees.

Florida Democratic lawmakers want the state to suspend all SunPass toll collections as the system responds to a backlog of more than 100 million unprocessed payments. 

State Rep. Kionne McGhee will join state Sen. Annette Taddeo and other local officials Wednesday in also calling on Gov. Rick Scott to create an independent auditing committee to investigate the backlog and other customer service complaints.

Deadly Storm Could Prompt Big Changes By Florida Legislators

Dec 5, 2017

Florida legislators say the state may need to extend a major toll road and create gasoline fuel farms in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.

Florida Department of Transportation

A bill that would eliminate building toll lanes on existing free interstate highways has moved through the transportation committee of the Florida Senate.

A Tampa toll road is among the nation's busiest, a new report shows.

By Ben Ostrowsky via Wikimedia Commons

Although several Tampa residents spoke Thursday at a Tampa City Council meeting against the state's plan to add toll lanes to three major Interstates, their protests might not have any effect, because the decision ultimately rests with the state Department of Transportation.

The project, called the Tampa Bay Express, involves adding tolled express lanes on 87 miles of I-4, I-275 and I-75. The tolls would cost drivers up to $2 per mile.

Express Tampa Bay

Tampa Bay interstates may be getting express toll lanes, but drivers won't see the changes anytime soon.

The plan, called Tampa Bay Express, is in its beginning phase, so it may take almost a decade before drivers see the final product.

To cut down on drive times, current interstates would have additional middle lanes that would require drivers to use a SunPass. These express lanes would alleviate some traffic on the regular highways by offering a faster option to drivers willing to pay the toll.