Scott discusses roads, other transportation projects

By Ashley Mitchem, Morning traffic, news reporter, amitchem@wjxt.com
Published On: Aug 18 2014 01:06:15 PM EDT
Updated On: Aug 18 2014 01:09:54 PM EDT

Gov. Rick Scott discusses how he plans to invest in the state's transportation infrastructure if reelected.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

In a campaign stop in Jacksonville on Monday, Gov. Rick Scott mapped out how he wants money spent on transportation infrastructure.

Scott discussed projects at Jacksonville ports, on roads, at airports, and when they could start.

"People want to live where they can get to work quickly," he said. "They don't want to have all the congestion. They want to live in a safe place."

Scott's goal, if reelected, is to spend a little more than $10 billion toward Florida Department of Transportation projects: $325 million at Florida airports, $230 million in bike path projects, and a little more than $1 billion on Florida ports.

Included in that list is a $179 million project to reconfigure Interstate 295 at Butler Boulevard and add four toll lanes going south to State Road 9B. That project would start in 2016.

The four lanes being added to I-295 will be toll roads and feature variable pricing in which the toll will rise as the road gets more crowded.

"It helps reduce congestion on all of our roads, and if somebody wants to pay to get someplace faster, they have that opportunity to pay, and basically the user is paying for that service," Scott said.

Drivers agree the beltway and Butler Boulevard are both very crowded during rush hour.

"Sometimes you get stuck for 30 minutes," one driver said.

"I think there is always traffic, so more lanes would be useful," driver Kristin Bedoya said. "People have to travel the road no matter what, so sometimes you don't have a choice whether you are going to pay the toll or not."

The state's budget for this fiscal year includes the largest FDOT work program in state history.

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