Paused, not stopped: Northern Turnpike Extension toll road 2022-08-05

Two more versions of what’s happening to the toll road project: “paused” until they come up with options to “address concerns” or “include” concerns.

[FDOT PR, NTE Project Update, Study Area]
FDOT PR, NTE Project Update, Study Area

There is nothing about satisfying community concerns. There is a statement that they will “continue to refine and develop viable corridor concepts for this area”. They’re going to write a report despite this “pause”, and sooner or later they will plow ahead. Nevermind no need for any of those alternative routes has ever been established. Watch for that Report so you can comment No Build.

This pause is just a feint because of all the community objections thus far. Don’t let this pause cool your objections. More toll roads means more clearcutting and runoff, more pollution from that runoff, more development and more water withdrawals, lower levels in the Floridan Aquifer, rivers, and springs. And all that traffic is aimed up US 19 across the Suwannee River to Madison County. Water is more important than profit for developers and toll road builders.

FDOT and NTE say they will “prioritize“ I-75, but the FDOT PR says “In the near term”. And the “and possibly other corridors” that Rep. Masullo previously mentioned apparently include all the old proposed alternatives.

An FDOT press release says it is “paused” and they “will not pursue the project any further until options can be reassessed to address concerns of the Department and the community.”

A Northern Turnpike Extension Project Update says “Based on feedback received from across the four-county study area, there are significant concerns with portions of the proposed corridors. As a result, the Department has decided to complete the ACE study without recommending a specific corridor and will not pursue the project any further until options can be reassessed to include these important community concerns.”

That NTE web page also includes a comment form for a thirty-day comment period on the “Alternative Corridor Evaluation Report”, but that Report is not available yet, and there’s no indication of when it will be.

FDOT PR

The date on this image is August 5, but Dunnellon posted the text of it on August 4.

[FDOT Press Release Department Pauses Northern Turnpike Extension Project]
FDOT Press Release Department Pauses Northern Turnpike Extension Project


FDOT

Florida Department of Transportation/Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise

RON DESANTIS
GOVERNOR

JARED W. PERDUE, P.E.
SECRETARY

Turkey Lake Service Plaza | Mile Post 253 | Bldg. #5315
P.O. Box 613069, Ocoee, Florida 34761

For immediate Release:
August 5, 2022

(407) 264-3321 | Angela Starke@2dot.state.fl.us
Contact: Angela Starke

Department Pauses Northern Turnpike Extension Project

~ Florida Turnpike Enterprise Alternative Corridor Evaluation Study Cancludes with no
Viable Proposed Corridors ~

OCOEE, Fia. — The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) has completed the Alternative Corridor Evaluation (ACE) Study for the Northern Tumpike Extension without recommending a specific corridor and will not pursue the project any further until options can be reassessed to address concerns of the Department and the community. Based on feedback received from across the four-county study area, significant concerns were identified with portions of all four initially proposed corridors. The Department deeply values community input and is committed to thoroughly exploring all concerns received during this process.

“The goal of every project is to ensure all needs are met, environmental concerns are addressed, and community characteristics are protected. The region and local community should be assured that as we continue to refine and develop viable corridor concepts for this area, it will include extensive engagement with community leaders and the community as a whole,” said Florida Department of Transportation Secretary Jared W. Perdue, PE.

In the near term, to help address regional and statewide transportation needs, the Department is dedicating resources to prioritize improvements on the Interstate 75 corridor. Much of the feedback received from local communities during the ACE study recommended reviewing and prioritizing solutions for the 1-75 corridor as part of the overall process.

The foundation of every FDOT project is to balance evolving transportation needs with the community vision of the region and the local area. Conducting evaluations in early planning stages of projects like the ACE study specifically seeks to thoroughly review any impacts and obtain feedback prior to proceeding further on projects and is precisely why we have processes like this.

FDOT appreciates all the input and efforts from the local communities, government partners, and stakeholders. We look forward to collaborating toward a shared transportation vision for the region and local area.

Additional details will be available as we move further along. Until then, the project’s website, www.floridasturnpike.com/NTE, will remain active as a resource for project updates.

###


Project Update

On the Northern Turnpike Extension website:

The proposed Northern Turnpike Extension is a project studied by Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise, part of the Florida Department of Transportation, to address regional and statewide transportation needs. The project followed the Alternative Corridor Evaluation (ACE) process to identify and evaluate four corridors to lessen the demand on the transportation network in areas with significant population growth. As with every proposed project under the Department, public feedback from local communities, government partners, and stakeholders are highly valued and necessary as part of the Department’s project development process.

Based on feedback received from across the four-county study area, there are significant concerns with portions of the proposed corridors. As a result, the Department has decided to complete the ACE study without recommending a specific corridor and will not pursue the project any further until options can be reassessed to include these important community concerns.

In an effort to help address regional and statewide transportation needs, the Department is dedicating resources to prioritize improvements on the Interstate 75 corridor. Much of the feedback received from local communities during the ACE study recommended reviewing and prioritizing solutions for the I-75 corridor as part of the overall process.

FDOT sincerely appreciates all the input and efforts made on behalf of this project. We look forward to collaborating with the various communities for a shared transportation vision.

That web page continues with project background, and a Study Area map with description.

[Study Area Map (NTE Overview 8)]
Study Area Map (NTE Overview 8)

Then there is a paragraph of lip service to Environment, Documents, and a Comment Form, introduced by:

The public comment period will close thirty (30) days following the upload of the Alternative Corridor Evaluation Report.

It doesn’t say when that Report can be expected. Keep an eye out so you can comment No Build.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

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https://wwals.net/donations/

2 thoughts on “Paused, not stopped: Northern Turnpike Extension toll road 2022-08-05

  1. Pingback: TURNPIKE EXTENSION PAUSE - Sumter County Democrats

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