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Transportation

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.

Ferry launch site
Google Maps

Establishing a commuter ferry service linking Tampa, St. Petersburg, MacDill Air Force Base and southern Hillsborough County may take a bit longer to become reality. The first-of-its-kind commuter service on Tampa Bay is running into money and parking woes.

FAA

The Federal Aviation Administration wants to change the way planes fly into and out of Florida’s busiest airports. It’s part of the first major overhaul of the nation’s air traffic control system in decades.

Long-time transit advocate Ed Turanchik outlined the plan to expand ferry service. Click through the slideshow to view graphics that show how service will run.
Stephanie Colombini / WUSF Public Media

Ferry service in Tampa Bay could include a new stop as well as commuter service to MacDill Air Force Base if a new plan moves forward.

The collapse of a bridge earlier this week in Tennessee is raising new alarms about the delicate state of infrastructure across the U.S.

Tennessee Department of Transportation engineers say that a concrete overpass spanning an interstate highway in Chattanooga fell when a truck carrying an oversize load hit the bottom of the bridge and sliced through steel beams underneath. One person driving underneath the bridge was injured, police say.

McMullen Booth Road is facing detours near State Road 590 as part of the railroad improvement program.
Transportation Division of Pinellas County Public Works

Every day, thousands of motorists drive McMullen Booth Road, one of the major north-south roadways in Pinellas County.

Starting Friday, they will be facing detours near State Road 590 in Clearwater as county workers improve a railroad line there.

HART

Benjamin Limmer just finished his first week as the new CEO of HART, Hillsborough County's public bus agency. He's on a listening tour to hear what the public has to say about the area's mass transit woes. He tells WUSF's Steve Newborn that years of cutbacks are about to be a memory, courtesy of a recently-passed sales tax referendum will pour money into the system.

A bill advancing in the Florida Senate would extend the Suncoast Parkway from the Tampa Bay area to the Georgia border.
Visit Florida

Florida Senate President Bill Galvano's plan to extend the Suncoast Parkway from the Tampa Bay area to the Georgia border is moving forward.

A PSTA bus at a stop in Williams Park in downtown St. Petesrburg
Pinellas Suncoast Transportation Authority Facebook page / Pinellas Suncoast Transportation Authority

The lack of widespread public transit in the Tampa Bay area is no secret. Talks of  how, when, where, and what kind of transportation options to fund have been lengthy, and largely unproductive at the state and county levels, leaving individual cities to fend for themselves.

In Washington D.C. though, the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) is hopeful they can secure federal funding for improving transit infrastructure. The association met with representatives of Congress this week to discuss the federal government’s role.

Christine Acosta prepares to take a ride with other bicyclists from Hyde Park to downtown Tampa on Bike to Work Day, Friday, March 8.
Ashley Lisenby / WUSF Public Media

Dozens of riders from across Tampa biked to work on Thursday to show that cycling in the Bay area is good for personal health and the environment.

FDOT

Construction is underway on a new traffic pattern called a Diverging Diamond Interchange (DDI) in north Tampa's Wesley Chapel that aims to ease congestion around I-75 and State Road 56, the Florida Department of Transportation said.

The idea of the $33 million project is to re-design a diamond-shaped bridge that already exists in the fast-growing area, which is near three shopping malls, a hospital and several hotels.

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.

Robert Suess / Hillsborough County Public Works

When Hurricane Irma hit Florida in September of 2017, the resulting power outages were felt all across the bay area.

Of the more than 300 traffic signals maintained by Hillsborough County, 125 lost power, making it difficult for motorists to navigate. 

A new Secretary for the Florida Department of Transportation was selected today. A week after being recommended to Governor Ron DeSantis, Kevin Thibault has been chosen to lead the Florida Department of Transportation. The Governor made the decision today in a press release calling Thibault, "a proven leader in state government and the private sector.”

Wikipedia.com

A high-speed rail line could soon connect Orlando and Tampa.

Brightline got approval this week to negotiate for the right to use the median of Interstate 4. The grassy strip had been targeted for high-speed rail during the Obama administration, but federal stimulus money was rejected by Gov. Rick Scott in 2011, who said it was too risky and predicted the state would wind up subsidizing the project. Now, the private firm wants to connect Tampa with South Florida via Orlando.

Land Rover MENA / Wikimedia Commons

Entrepreneur Richard Branson is adding his name and money to a new privately-owned rail line in Florida. The branding comes at an important time for the new service, as its expanding to Orlando.

Caitie Switalski / WLRN

Brightline got the green light Wednesday from the state to negotiate for land to add high-speed passenger rail service from Orlando to Tampa --- a link envisioned to eventually connect with Brightline’s existing service in South Florida.

Tampa International Airport

As Thanksgiving weekend ends, many travelers are returning back home, but a snowstorm in the Midwest has left some stranded at airports around the country.

Wikimedia Commons

Thanksgiving is almost here and that means travelers will be headed to see loved ones – or hoping for a quick getaway.

HART

Starting Jan. 1, Hillsborough County residents will pay an 8.5 percent sales tax, the highest in the state.

Voters approved two referenda this week to raise taxes for transportation improvements and school repairs.

FHP

The Florida Department of Transportation is working on new technology that will detect wrong way drivers on Florida highways. An increase in wrong way collisions has lead to the Howard Frankland Bridge being chosen for the upcoming pilot test.

Roberto Roldan / WUSF Public Media

Local and state officials held a ceremonial ribbon cutting Friday to celebrate the TECO Line Streetcar System going fare-free for the next three years.

Florida Department of Transportation

A new Interstate 4 construction project is starting this week, but it shouldn’t bring any more congestion than usual. The 11-mile stretch from east of 50th Street to east of McIntosh Road will be completely repaved between now and summer 2020. 

Susan Giles Wantuck

It may feel like prices at the gas pump are higher than they've been in a while. Well, AAA on Monday reported gas prices hit a four-year high for the month of September. 

Call it much-needed traffic relief for Kendall residents or the "Everglades Snakeway" -- but it's on its way to completion.

Wikimedia Commons

If you’ve driven on Courtney Campbell Causeway, there’s a good chance you’ve been sped past by street racers.

Bethany Tyne / WUSF Public Media

Residents of Tampa and Orlando might finally be getting a solution to the dreaded Interstate 4 traffic. The Florida Department of Transportaion is taking bids from private companies to build a high-speed rail between the two cities.

Wikimedia Commons

Distracted and speeding drivers seem to be problems in any neighborhood, but in one Lakeland community, it’s threatening local wildlife. In just three weeks, five of Lake Morton’s swans have been killed by vehicles, and residents are searching for an answer.

Wikimedia commons

Floridians seem to have a love-hate relationship with roundabouts. But they may have to get used to them, because they are popping up all over the state and Dr. Pei-Sung Lin of USF's Center for Transporation Research, who specializes in Intelligent Transporation Systems, predicts we are likely to see more of them.

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