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Gov. DeSantis Seeks 'Best Value,' Speed On Road Projects

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I-4 and I-275 intersection near downtown Tampa

With an eye on traffic headaches throughout the Sunshine State, Gov. Ron DeSantis said he has expressed concerns to the head of the Florida Department of Transportation about the cost and length of time to get projects completed.

“I think if you look at some of the price tags in these things, I just want to make sure we are getting the best value,” the governor told reporters in Orlando on Friday, following a speech to members of the Florida Realtors Association.

DeSantis added that he would like to see infrastructure projects done “as soon as possible and not take forever and a day.” The Republican governor, who took office in January, added, “We are working on ways to be able to do that. … I have talked to the DOT secretary and he understands that that is a concern of mine.”

While the governor said he was not referring to any specific projects, DeSantis did say he would like a “speed up” on the I-4 Ultimate corridor expansion project, and he’d like the project to be more cost effective. The governor also wants to see infrastructure projects in Central and Southeast Florida, areas of the state that have the most congestion. And with Universal Orlando Resort building a new theme park, DeSantis said the state will be acting as a “partner” to help with road improvements.

“[Universal officials] have worked with DOT because there are some roads that need to be done,” the governor said. “We have worked constructively with them on that and we will continue to do so.”

The Orlando Sentinel reported Friday a state grant will help build a 1.7-mile road extension that will run alongside or through Universal’s property, where the new theme park is being built. “Orlando is a place for marquee attractions and I think this Universal park is taking it to the next level,” DeSantis said.

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