DOT sec’y Prasad tells builders ‘significant’ projects to be advanced

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Florida Transportation Secretary Ananth Prasad late Friday rolled out some of the agency’s priorities at the Transportation Builders’ Association Annual Convention in Marco Island, according to the News Service of Florida.

Probably most importantly for roadbuilders at the conference, Prasad announced that the department will be using “innovative financing tools” to advance nearly a billion dollars of construction projects into the current fiscal year.

Those include:

US 27 in Polk County

I-75 in Lee County

SR 9B in Duval County

Quincy By-Pass in Gadsden County

SR 79 Public-Private Partnership in Holmes and Washington counties

I-95 in Indian River County

I-95 in Brevard County

SR 823/NW 57 Avenue in Miami-Dade County

SR 50 in Hernando County

Pinellas Bayway in Pinellas County

Veterans Expressway in Hillsborough County.

Here’s more from a DOT release:

Marco Island – Florida Department of Transportation Secretary Ananth Prasad today unveiled the Florida Transportation Vision for the 21st Century in Marco Island.  Speaking to the Florida Transportation Builders’ Association Annual Convention, Prasad outlined Governor Scott’s goals to spur private sector job creation and to get our economy growing by having the best transportation and infrastructure system in the nation.

“The transportation industry will be leading the charge in making sure we have the state-of-the art infrastructure that is interconnected and efficient,” said Governor Scott. “This will make Florida tough to beat for the place where we all want to live, work and play.”

The Transportation Vision plan uses creative financing alternatives, offers transportation choices, places strong emphasis on port development, reduces bureaucracy and streamlines decision making, plans and develops future corridors, and provides faster project delivery to keep Florida moving and get our citizens back to work.

“The Transportation Vision plan is the state’s bold, innovative roadmap for the future which will provide the most advanced and effective transportation system in the country,” said Secretary Prasad. “Florida is on the cutting edge to produce more transportation projects, to provide Florida’s taxpayers with a greater return on our investment, and to create the conditions for the private sector to invest, grow and provide good paying jobs.”

Governor Scott has committed to making the needed investments in transportation infrastructure which is a tried and true model to create both direct and indirect private sector jobs and investment.

At a time when too many people are looking for work and input prices such as commodity costs and labor are low, we must make these investments now.

Additionally, while there is significant capacity in the private sector to deliver more while doing so at historically low prices, the Department will be using innovative financing tools to advance nearly a billion dollars of construction projects into the current fiscal year.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.