FDOT Withdraws Northern Turnpike Extension Plan

There will be no more roads to ruin for now in Florida it seems.

The Florida Department of Transportation has announced it will drop plans for four potential routes to link the Florida Turnpike to U.S. 19 and instead focus on improving Interstate 75, according to news reports.

This was the last of a group of controversial road projects opposed by Sierra Club because of their potential to encourage urban sprawl in rural areas that would threaten rural residents’ serenity and security and fragment wildlife habitat.

In addition, there was never any real need for these roads for anyone but the development and road-building lobbies.

Ancient Islands Sierra members in Sumter County and their neighbors had packed recent County Commission meetings to urge commissioners to support the “no build” option which is now what has become state policy.

Elected officials and residents in surrounding counties had actively objected to the project as well.

Ancient Islands Sierra members in Polk actively campaigned against an earlier project to build a new toll road between Polk and the Fort Myers area. Plans for that project have been shelved.

Remaining alert for proposals for unwise or unnecessary road projects is an ongoing task for Sierra, which also opposed an unrelated road project at the edge of the Everglades in Miami-Dade County and has spoken out about some so-called priority road projects in Polk County in the Green Swamp Area of Critical State Concern and the Everglades Headwaters.


Posted in Group Conservation Issues.