Do you think there are enough orange cones on the roads already? Well expect more in the coming years. The Tampa Bay region is already undergoing major road improvements and expansions including the Selmon Expressway & I-4 Connector, the redevelopment of I-275 and widening of I-75. For 2013, a new proposal is calling for an 11% increase to the Department of Transportation's budget.
An expansion to the Panama Canal is estimated for a 2014 completion and the state of Florida is preparing with port and roadway improvements. Tampa is undergoing a $45 Million upgrade to the Port of Tampa which is slated to be completed in 2014.
In total, the statewide proposal calls for a $9.1 Billion transportation budget which includes $69 million for additional lanes on the Veterans Expressway, $420 million for additional lanes on Interstate 75 in Pasco, Hernando and Sumter counties and $27 million for the expansion of Bruce B. Downs Boulevard. In South Florida, new road construction would include $112 million for I-75 in Broward County. All of which will contribute to more construction jobs in Tampa Bay.
Does the state of Florida need a $917 Million increase in the transportation budget? What happened to the proposed light rail and high speed rail projects?
You may not see new rail systems anytime soon, but you will see a large increase in orange cones in your daily commutes. Maybe it is time to consider riding the new HART MetroRapid system, expected to also roll out this year!
Is Florida and the Tampa Bay area making the right investments? Will the increase in infrastructure and construction jobs lead to new business and growth in the region? Let us know in the comments below.