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FDOT touts ‘unprecedented’ year, highlights accomplishments under Ron DeSantis

Innovation, safety and infrastructure improvements made the department’s list.

The Department of Transportation (FDOT) highlighted an “unprecedented” year under Ron DeSantis’ first as Governor in a year-end statement.

Transportation improvements in 2019 have benefited Floridians and visitors, according to FDOT, which oversees the state’s transportation infrastructure.

“Thanks to Governor DeSantis’ bold vision, Florida is creating a resilient multimodal transportation system that serves our state now and for generations into the future,” said FDOT Secretary Kevin Thibault. “I am proud to serve alongside the men and women at FDOT and am thrilled to showcase their many accomplishments as we work to bring the Governor’s forward-thinking vision to life.”

On the national scale, FDOT received a national safety award for using innovative solutions to address wrong-way driving. The department also received $82 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation for transportation projects and nearly $100 million in infrastructure projects.

This year, FDOT also launched rail safety measures to prevent fatalities at state-owned rail crossings. Projects included Positive Train Control to prevent train- or track-based accidents and identifying trespassing hotspots.

FDOT completed the first of two phases of its autonomous vehicle testing site in May and started the second this fall.

And the department began the Advanced Freight Mobility Solutions project to truck travel time reliability west of Miami International Airport. FDOT identified the site as the area with the most freight activity in the state.

Highway workers completed Interstate 295 express lanes in Jacksonville and widened a stretch of Interstate 75 in Central Florida. The I-295 project decreased travel times while the I-75 project improved capacity along a critical evacuation route.

FDOT also touted projects in each of its seven districts, including highway, port infrastructure and bridge improvements.

In the Panhandle, the department cleared debris from Hurricane Michael, made highway improvements to mitigate future storm damage and replaced damaged signs and wildlife fencing.

Missing from FDOT’s list of accomplishments was Multi-use Corridors of Regional Economic Significance, a program approved by the Legislature this year to build three new toll roads.

Written By

Renzo Downey covers the Florida Legislature for Florida Politics. After graduating from Northwestern University in 2019, Renzo began his reporting career in the Lone Star State, covering state government for the Austin American-Statesman. Shoot Renzo an email at renzo@floridapolitics.com and follow him on Twitter @RenzoDowney.

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