Gov. Ron DeSantis is proposing a $7 billion investment plan to expedite transit projects across the state, including funding one in Pinellas County.
If passed by the legislature, the full proposal would invest $4 billion of general revenue, redirect an average of $131 million annually to the State Transportation Work Program, and leverage additional funding over the next four years for a total of $7 billion to strengthen Florida’s infrastructure, according to the governor’s Monday announcement.
One of the 20 projects on the priority list that would benefit from this funding would be the $354 million proposal to widen Interstate 275 in St. Petersburg.
This project entails widening I-275 from 38th Avenue N. to 4th Street N. and would add two tolled express lanes in each direction. A new multi-use trail would also be built along Ulmerton Road from I-275 to Feather Sound Drive, according to a project description from the Florida Department of Transportation.
Construction would commence in 2025 and would be completed by 2027.
DeSantis announced the new plan, referred to as Moving Florida Forward, during a press conference at the SunTrax facility, a testing destination for autonomous vehicles that’s being built in Polk County, alongside other state officials.
“This proposal will break through bureaucracy that often slows down infrastructure projects and allow FDOT to target projects that will ease congestion across the state,” DeSantis said. “Expediting these projects will bring them to completion more than a decade ahead of schedule.”
DeSantis explained the Moving Florida Forward plan is needed to help address the critical transit infrastructure, relieving congestion and enhancing safety, as Florida’s population is projected to grow by 600 people every day over the next 30 years.