Florida Gov. Jeb Bush May 25 signed the 2006-2007 budget into law, providing $9.1 billion in transportation services to the Department of Transportation.
“The governor’s record funding level for transportation benefits Florida’s families, visitors and businesses by moving people and goods more efficiently,” said Florida Department of Transportation Secretary Denver Stutler. “The budget also continues the funding for the implementation of landmark growth management reform.”
The transportation budget for 2006-2007 includes:
• Development of the Strategic Intermodal System, $2.6 billion: As the state’s top transportation priority, these critical highways, airports, seaports, railroads and other key transportation assets are the catalysts for Florida’s future growth and the diversification of its economy. They have also proven critically important to Florida’s recent disaster response efforts and the economic recovery of those areas hardest hit by the 2004 and 2005 hurricanes.
• Implementation of Growth Management Reform, $1.1 billion: The department is in the process of implementing the landmark growth management legislation signed into law during the 2005 Legislative Session that included $542 million in funding, which provides $1.1 billion in product in 2006-07. Recognizing that Florida’s infrastructure has not kept pace with growth and with more than 1,000 new residents moving to the state daily, this “pay-as-you-grow” system bases decisions for new development on the ability of Florida’s communities to provide adequate infrastructure.
The proposed work program budget of $8.3 billion includes funds to construct 379 new lane miles, reconstruct and rehabilitate 3,614 existing lane miles, replace 11 bridges and invest more than $3 billion in road building contracts.
Major projects slated to begin in the upcoming fiscal year include:
• Replacement of the State Road 46 Lake Jesup bridge in Seminole County
• Construction of an interchange on the Polk Parkway at Pace Road in Polk County
• Construction of an interchange on I-10 at State Road 23 (Branan Field Chaffee Road) in Duval County
• Addition of frontage roads and grade separated interchanges to improve U.S. 19 from north of Sunset Point Road to south of Countryside Blvd. in Pinellas County
• Construction of the Miami Intermodal Center/Earlington Heights Metrorail Connector in Miami-Dade County
• More than $647 million for land purchases in anticipation of future projects.
The budget provides continued emphasis on the development and use of Intelligent Transportation Systems to better manage traffic flow, along with implementation of the department’s transit plan, which will maximize and leverage state transportation dollars to attract greater federal funding for public transportation.