State Rep. Tom Goodson‘s effort to expand the Central Florida Expressway Authority into Brevard County cleared a Florida House subcommittee Wednesday after Goodson told members that roads from the tollroad agency’s region already extend into Brevard County.
Questioning from some committee members appeared to suggest they thought Goodson implied that roads actually controlled by the agency extend into Brevard County.
The Central Florida Expressway Authority, known as CFX, neither owns nor operates any roads within four miles of Brevard, and has no explicit plans to ever do so.
“Today the primary responsibility of the Central Florida Expressway Authority is to construct, maintain and operate Central Florida expressways within the geographic boundaries of Orange, Seminole, and Osceola” counties, Goodson said in introducing his House Bill 299 to the House Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure, leaving out Lake County.
“Sections of the expressway extend from I-4 in Orange County to Cape Canaveral in Brevard County. Major arteries in Brevard County extend into Osceola or Orange, 528, 520 and 192. Right now Brevard does not sit on the board. If this bill passes, it would provide a seat for Brevard County.”
The bill passed the committee 15-0, with at least a couple of the members expressing surprise that the authority was operating in Brevard without Brevard being represented on its board.
But the authority does not operate in Brevard, and does not have any plans to do so, except in undefined, long-range concepts that call for the possibility of one-day doing so.
Last month CFX officials said they knew nothing of any plan to ever add Brevard County to either their service area or their board. The CFX board was advised of Goodson’s bill two weeks ago and intends to discuss it next month.
The expressway Goodson mentioned that starts at I-4 and extends to Cape Canaveral, presumably State Road 528 [also known as the Beachline Expressway] is owned and operated as a toll road by the expressway authority only as far as State Road 520, which is still in Orange, about four miles west of the Brevard line. SR 528 extends from there to Cape Canaveral as a free highway, owned, maintained and operated by the Florida Department of Transportation. None of the other roads operated by CFX come nearly that close to Brevard.
The other two roads he mentioned, SR 520 and U.S. Highway 192, are not in the CFX system.
Still, Goodson indicated the intent of the bill may be to get CFX to extend into Brevard. He noted state studies that showed increased transportation needs between Brevard and Orange, and said the Brevard County Board of Commissioners and regional transportation planning commission both voted to support the bill.
State Rep. Mike Miller of Winter Park concurred, declaring, “I think it will be a benefit to us to have you join us.”