Taking a proactive approach to protect the health and well-being of Floridians
By Governor Ron DeSantis
In what has undoubtedly been one of the most trying times in recent history, Florida and its people have shown unmeasured resilience and determination.
Throughout the fight against COVID-19, my administration has taken a proactive, data-driven approach to protect the health and well-being of Floridians and our visitors.
During this time, we have worked collaboratively with our state agencies to put proper precautions in place and to keep Florida moving. The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) has been vital to the safety of Florida’s motorists, the timely delivery of products across the state, and the continuation of key transportation projects.
In addition to keeping day-to-day operations moving, FDOT has assisted substantially in the state’s response to COVID-19. Their efforts to keep Florida’s transportation system running smoothly include regularly scheduled calls between FDOT Secretary Kevin J. Thibault, P.E. and seaports and public-use airports and the implementation of several Executive Orders to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
As we noticed reduced traffic volumes on our roadways, I challenged FDOT to not only continue construction of vital transportation projects throughout the state but to accelerate them. By extending work hours through what normally would have been peak travel periods, FDOT was able to expedite more than 40 key projects statewide, saving more than 650 total contract days and providing much-needed jobs to Floridians.
As a result of these accelerations, FDOT finished critical components of the $2.3 billion I-4 Ultimate project in Orlando, the largest infrastructure project in Florida’s history, three months ahead of schedule. Five new Interstate 4 (I-4)/ State Road (S.R.) 408 flyover ramps were opened, and a previously congested portion of the I-4 Westbound general use lanes was placed into its final configuration.
These improvements will undoubtedly enhance Central Floridians’ commutes as they transition back to their daily lives. The expedited work is expected to generate $14.5 million in benefits to Central Florida and the state as a result of reduced delays, improved travel time and reduced traffic crashes from the improved corridor.
This hard work over the past few months is a testament to FDOT’s commitment to moving Florida forward. Not only do these projects enhance safety and mobility for motorists, they also reduce travel times and provide improvements in the process of transporting cargo, which are vital in Florida’s recovery and economy. I am thankful for FDOT Secretary Thibault and our industry partners and am certain Florida will emerge from these trying times stronger than ever.
Gov. Ron DeSantis is the 46th Governor of Florida. Prior to being elected in 2018, he represented Florida’s 6th congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives.