TAMPA, Fla. — A plan to build a new toll road in Central Florida, and extend two existing toll roads was unanimously voted down by Florida Legislators this week.
In a 115-0 vote, plans to build the "Heartland Express" connecting Collier and Polk counties, and extending both the Suncoast Parkway and Florida Turnpike were scrapped in a breathtaking rebuke of a plan that just two years was voted through and signed by Governor Ron DeSantis.
What You Need To Know
- Plan to build new toll road scrapped
- Roads connecting Collier and Polk counties,and extending both the Suncoast Parkway and Florida Turnpike were scrapped
- Bill now on its way to the governor's desk repeals the toll road projects
The idea behind the toll roads was to support anticipated growth across the state as well as aid in hurricane evacuations.
But studies showed the toll roads would have little to no impact, and that the toll revenue generated would not be enough to pay for the bonds to build them.
Environmentalists also sounded alarm bells about the plans, saying they could lead to the extinction of the Florida panther.
Economists also argued more toll roads threatened to cut off small communities that the roads would bypass.
The bill now on its way to the governor's desk repeals the toll road projects, however still includes funding for "as-needed" work on US-19 between the Suncoast Parkway to I-10, and an extension of the Suncoast Parkway north of Wildwood, where the toll road currently terminates.