Randy Fine chastises Palm Bay for ‘breathtaking incompetence’

Florida House Committee Meetings
The $28 million interchange has been ready for traffic since early August

South Palm Bay residents have been waiting for the Florida Department of Transportation to open a new Interstate 95 interchange, but FDOT isn’t the hold up.

After a constituent asked state Rep. Randy Fine when the project would be complete, the Brevard County Republican investigated.

His findings: the $28 million interchange has been ready for traffic since early August, but the city of Palm Bay hasn’t ponied up to build a road connecting to it.

Another twist: putting the freshly completed interchange on standby has cost Florida taxpayers another $475,000.

The city told Fine, whose south Brevard seat encompasses the entirety of Palm Bay, it doesn’t know when the so-called “interchange to nowhere” will get the connecting road it’s waiting on. City officials said they would need to hold meetings before they could give an answer.

Fine is livid — to the point he’s questioning whether Palm Bay should even be a city.

“The level of incompetence here is so breathtaking that it is almost beyond comprehension,” Fine said.

“Palm Bay agreed with FDOT to build this connecting road in 2013, and to not get it done over six years — while asking the state and federal government to spend $27.8 million — should be criminal. To not even be able to say when it will be finished is unconscionable. If you can’t build a road, you shouldn’t rule a city.

“This is the most egregious failure of home rule that I have seen in my time in office, and it comes on top of the Mayor and City staff recently refusing to fully cooperate with the Auditor General of the State of Florida on a special audit I called for two years ago due to home rule abuses.  That audit should be released any day now and cannot come soon enough,” he continued.

“The State created the City and the State has an obligation to step in when its creation cannot function at even the most basic level. I will be exploring all options to hold the City accountable for this $28 million scandal.”

Drew Wilson

Drew Wilson covers legislative campaigns and fundraising for Florida Politics. He is a former editor at The Independent Florida Alligator and business correspondent at The Hollywood Reporter. Wilson, a University of Florida alumnus, covered the state economy and Legislature for LobbyTools and The Florida Current prior to joining Florida Politics.


5 comments

  • Allen Sherlock

    October 16, 2019 at 9:57 pm

    What else is new, another screw up in Palm bay!!!

    • Dale

      October 17, 2019 at 7:57 am

      Wow this is incredible Where is the accountability Representative Fine will get the answers.

  • J

    October 16, 2019 at 11:40 pm

    Silly Randy. The problem isn’t that Palm Bay didn’t build the connecting road… the problem is you keep giving FDOT money to build stupid interchanges that aren’t needed or are only needed because the existing ones are poorly designed and dump people onto other poorly designed roads. I know, I know…. everyone in Florida is pumped about more interchanges but that’s only because they’re used to the roads being stupid.

  • Concerned citizen

    October 17, 2019 at 2:19 am

    I drive by it daily still looks like there is some work to be done, like paving the bridge and ramps…

  • Arthur Bees

    October 17, 2019 at 8:11 am

    Randy, if you want some real dirt- you should ask City officials why the road is 48″ higher than it needed to be. All of that fill inflated the cost of the interchange by nearly 10%. The surrounding land owners and developer essentially hoodwinked officials at that time into a corner. As for the incompetence of the City, that really falls on the public that doesnt watch over them, doesnt ask questions, and could frankly care less.

Comments are closed.


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