February 25, 2013
The state’s proposed $9.1 billion budget includes plans for an 11-percent increase in transportation spending as the state tries to increase jobs, build more roads, and get the state’s ports ready for the Panama Canal expansion.
According to the Bradenton Herald, projects include $532 million of additional lanes on Interstate 75; $154 million to add lanes and reconstruct the Homestead extension of the Florida Turnpike; $69 million to add lanes on the Veterans Expressway in Hillsborough County; $27 million for the expansion of Bruce B. Downs Boulevard; and $25 million to add lanes and reconstruct State Road 823.
Ports also benefit from the budget with Miami slated for $30.6 million, Tampa for $26.7 million, Manatee for $19.5, and nearly $100 million for other ports in the state.
“The construction industry was the most hurt by the recession,” Rep. Ed Hooper, chair of the House transportation appropriations committee, told the newspaper. “So the industry will only be helped by more spending.”