Lawmakers aim to build new Collier County to Polk County corridor

We’ve all experienced rough roads, potholes, traffic congestion. Now we’re learning about new plans to make your drive easier if you’re heading north.

Senator Bill Galvano has introduced a plan to expedite three major roadways connecting communities.

The Suncoast Parkway to Georgia, the Florida Turnpike northwest to the Suncoast Parkway and most importantly to our area, from Collier to Polk County.

We mapped out the drive from Collier County to Polk County and on a good day it takes about two and a half hours, much of that on a two lane road.

Senator Galvano sent a memo to all state senators, saying we need to “Harden our existing infrastructure, as well as anticipate future needs.”

He also feels, the state has “Primarily focused on urban areas”, and “There has not always been the same focus on large portions of rural Florida.”

Lawmakers say this new plan would help travels times and rural communities.

Darrell DeMott and a few other drivers says they hate driving on I-75 during rush hour, “If you get out there on the expressway during rush times on I-75 it’s a madhouse, if it was more roads coming down from that area it’s would be great to alleviate the congestion and the danger that’s out there on the road.”

Roy Seidl said, “During season I don’t like going out, driving around because the traffic and some people don’t know how to drive.”

So when they heard that the Florida Department of Transportation is looking to build a new roadway from Polk County to Collier County they say they’d be the first ones to use it.

“That’d be a good idea,” Seidl said. “It’ll help relive the traffic off of 41 and 75 and bring it on down through the center, yes that’d be a good idea, I don’t see that as a bad idea at all.”

In a recent report released by Senator Bill Galvano’s office, it says he would like legislation to expedite the creation of three new multi-use corridors in certain rural areas like :

  • Polk County to Collier County
  • Suncoast Parkway Extension to Georgia
  • Northern Turnpike Connector (Florida Turnpike Northwest to the Suncoast Parkway)

To help relieve traffic congestion.

FDOT is expected to start constructing the new roadways by 2022.

These new corridors are expected to be completed by 2030, but drivers say they believe it will take longer than that eight year window.

Reporter:Curtis Jennings
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