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Rick Scott signs omnibus FDOT bill into law

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Gov. Rick Scott gave his signature on  Monday to a omnibus transportation bill making about a dozen changes to state law regarding the Florida Department of Transportation. Scott’s final approval of HB 7027 means numerous sundry changes for FDOT, one of the largest aspects of the budget and a prominent area of policy for Floridians who travel the state’s roads, railways, and waterways. Perhaps most notably, the bill enacts into law a proposal championed by Republican Speaker-to-be Rep. Richard Corcoran, whereby any proposed amendment to…

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Senate unanimously passes broad transportation bill, sends to House

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

On Monday, the Senate unanimously passed HB 7027, a broadly worded bill that seeks to reform several policies and programs for the Florida Department of Transportation. After senators adopted a series of amendments, LobbyTools reports the bill now returns to the House. Among the amendments were adding language to encourage the development of transportation policy for the advancement of autonomous, driverless car technology. The Senate also removed a provision giving the Legislative Budget Commission authority to review amendments to FDOT’s work plan. The language…

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Maybe Polk County will build a toll road anyway

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Polk County business leaders and legislators are readying for a possible end run around the Florida Department of Transportation’s decision to postpone and perhaps even stop support for the Central Polk Parkway toll road … maybe a half-end run. Rep. John Wood, a Winter Haven Republican who has chaired the Central Polk Parkway Working Group, plans to discuss the creation of a Polk County Expressway Authority that will plan ways to keep the project alive. The working group meets 9…

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Tampa highlights connected vehicle pilot program at Florida Automated Vehicles Summit

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Self-driving cars on Florida roads may be closer to reality than many people think. Autonomous and connected vehicles (CV) in the Tampa Bay area was one of the leading topics of the third annual Florida Automated Vehicles Summit, held in Jacksonville Tuesday and Wednesday. The summit will highlight the newest innovations in driverless cars, which are part of the Florida Department of Transportation’s stated goal to “serve the people of Florida by delivering a transportation system that is fatality and congestion free.”…

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HART committee approves contract for Yellow Cab to provide same-day service for paratransit riders

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A subcommittee with the Hillsborough Area Transit Authority (HART) has approved a contract with Yellow Cab Company of Tampa to provide same-day rides for riders who use their paratransit HARTPlus program that service those with disabilities. Currently, those riders must call a day in advance for such service. Greg Brackin, director of Operations and Support and ADA officer, informed HART’s Finance, Governance, and Administration Committee on Monday that the such riders will continue to pay the $4 fee they currently are charged, but…

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$5M fence project to protect panthers on Alligator Alley

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State officials are spending more than $5 million on a fencing project designed to keep panthers and other large animals off Alligator Alley. The Florida Department of Transportation will start construction later this year on a project that includes 18 miles of 10-foot fencing and work on three animal underpasses east of the Naples-area toll booth. The Florida Wildlife Federation has advocated for years to have panther fencing along all of Alligator Alley, which stretches from Miami to Naples. Wildlife…

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In St. Pete, FDOT gets an ‘A’ from oversight commission

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

The Florida Department of Transportation has met or exceeded 16 of 17 benchmarks set by the Florida Transportation Commission for fiscal year 2014-2015. The FTC’s Performance and Production Review found that FDOT was successful in the number of contracts that were executed compared to the number that were just planned. The state transportation agency also maintained the required number of lane miles on the State Highway System with a pavement condition of either excellent or good. The review also found…

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