For Immediate Release
December 29, 2021
FDOT Keeps Florida Free by Advancing Transportation in 2021
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) highlighted its accomplishments from 2021, all of which have advanced transportation throughout the state and kept Florida free under the leadership of Governor Ron DeSantis.
“This year, FDOT remained focused on bringing together innovation and new technologies to our transportation modes in order to move people and goods to shape Florida‚s future,” said Florida Department of Transportation Secretary Kevin J. Thibault, P.E. ”Through Governor DeSantis‚ leadership and the support of our partners, the department continues to be a leader in multi-modal transportation system development.”
FDOT’s accomplishments during 2021 include:
- The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) announced the A1A Scenic and Historic Coastal Byway, River of Lakes Heritage Corridor, and 30A as official 2021 America’s Byways.
- Received two regional awards for the repair and rehabilitation of American Legion Drive Bridge over Peace River and the Cow Key Bridge from the Southern Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (SASHTO) as part of the annual America’s Transportation Awards competition.
- Received a 2021 National Roadway Safety Award for the successful use of advanced technologies to improve safety in arterial roadway work zones, demonstrably slowing down drivers and improving driver behavior. Also received a National Roadway Safety Award Honorable Mention for the successful transition from in-person training to virtual webinars, helping enhance the skills and knowledge of Florida’s transportation workforce on a variety of roadway safety issues.
- Improved in three major categories (ports, bridges, and roads) in the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) infrastructure report card despite a population growth rate of 1% per year, putting Florida’s 2021 grades higher overall than the National Report Card average.
- FDOT and the Florida Turnpike Enterprise (FTE) received a 2021 Transportation Achievement Award for SunTrax by the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE).
- SR 116 Wonderwood Bridge Post-Tensioning Repair project won the Post-Tensioning Institute Award of Excellence in the Repair/Rehab/Strengthening Category at the 2021 Post-Tensioning Institute Awards.
- Received national recognition for “Interactive Marketing” for the Mobility Week 2020 Virtual Conference Center at AASHTO’s 2021 TransComm Skills Award.
- FDOT received Outstanding Project Awards from the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) of Florida for seven transportation projects:
- Outstanding Major Project: I-95 Interchange at Ellis Road/ St. Johns Heritage Parkway
- Outstanding Design-Build: Crosstown Parkway Extension
- Outstanding Roadway Project: S.R. 542 from 1st Street to Buckeye Loop Road
- Outstanding Bridge Project: Howell Drive/ Ribault River Bridge No. 724147
- Outstanding Planning Project: Tampa Interstate Study Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement
- Outstanding Environmental Project: SR A1A at Fort George Inlet Park
- Outstanding Special Project: Lake-Wekiva Trail AMG Project
- Received a Design-Build Project of the Year Award at the 2021 Florida Region Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA) Awards for the I-275 Sunshine Skyway Rest Areas and Seawall Repairs Project.
- The Wekiva Parkway Section 3 was awarded a “Best in Construction” award from Florida Transportation Builders' Association (FTBA) in the “Major Bridge” category.
- Collaborated with partners at the national, state, and local levels to implement nearly 30 education campaigns focused on various safety initiatives including distracted and impaired driving prevention, work zone awareness, and rail safety.
- Focused on pedestrian safety, FDOT initiatives resulted in 11.5% fewer pedestrian and bicyclist serious injuries and 3% fewer pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities.
- The Sunshine Skyway Bridge Vertical Net was placed on the outside barrier wall to enhance safety on the Sunshine Skyway Bridge.
- SunRail was awarded the Rail Transit Safety Education Grant by Operation Lifesaver, Inc. SunRail received the full $20,000 allotment for the “Safety is for Everyone” community inclusive safety project in early 2022.
- Completed the installation of dynamic envelopes at all state-managed rail crossings eight months ahead of schedule. Dynamic envelopes are essential components of FDOT’s Operation STRIDE, an initiative designed to keep motorists out of the danger zone near railroad crossings.
- Completed the last major lane shifts on the I-4 Ultimate Improvement Project, placing all 21 miles of General Use Lanes in their final alignment. This is the most significant milestone since the project broke ground in 2015.
- Commenced construction on the final segment of SunRail in Deland. Additionally, SunRail had an average increase of nearly 200 riders each month since May 2020.
- Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise (FTE) completed the activation of All-Electronic Tolling (AET) on all 320 miles of the Turnpike, a project that started over a decade ago.
- FTE’s SunPass and E-ZPass programs achieved interoperability, benefitting millions of toll highway customers on the East Coast of the United States and as far west as Illinois. Additionally, FTE launched the new SunPass PRO™ transponder, which can be used everywhere E-ZPass is accepted.
Planning for Florida’s Future
- Completed significant advancements on portions of SunTrax’s testing facility including completion of the infield, as well as complex roadway geometry, specialty pavement surfaces, and mock urban environments.
- Secretary Thibault joined Governor DeSantis to announce major projects to improve and modernize Tampa’s interstate system, including the Howard Frankland Bridge, Westshore Interchange, and the Tampa Interchange between I-275 and I-4.
Investing in Florida’s Economy
- Completed a Macroeconomic Analysis of Florida’s Transportation Investments and found that Florida’s transportation projects are expected to yield an average $4 of benefits for every dollar invested. In addition, the analysis found the benefits included investments across all transportation modes.
Outreach and Partnerships
- Governor DeSantis recommended and the Florida Legislature appropriated $250 million for Florida’s seaports to assist them in their recovery from the pandemic.
- Secretary Thibault joined state and local partners at the JAXPORT and Puerto Rico Port Authority MOU Signing Ceremony to discuss port development as well as foster relationships between carriers and shippers that serve both ports.
ADDITIONAL REGIONAL ACCOMPLISHMENTS INCLUDE:
- Conducted outreach on the University of Florida campus for pedestrian and bicycle safety utilizing Alert Today, Alive Tomorrow materials and messaging, by distributing more than 7,500 safety materials to university students and pedestrians in the area.
- Governor Ron DeSantis and Secretary Thibault celebrated the construction of the 23rd Street flyover, a $67.9 million project, bringing relief to the 23rd Street and U.S. 98 intersection — the most congested intersection in Bay County.
- Opened roundabouts and a frontage road along the S.R. 46 corridor in Seminole County, a milestone moving the Wekiva Parkway closer to completion.
- Installed R-CUT intersections for the safety improvement project on Apopka-Vineland Road, improving traffic flow on Apopka-Vineland Road from south of International Drive to the south of Hotel Plaza Boulevard.
- The Regional Rail Trail in East Central Florida officially opened the last remaining piece of a more than 50-mile trail connecting two Central Florida counties. The East Central Regional Rail Trail is now Florida's longest paved rail-trail.
- Wrong-way driving detection devices have been installed at interstate ramps in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties.
- Completed the new southbound I-75 entrance ramp to the Selmon Expressway, allowing motorists access to the U.S. 301 frontage ramp in Brandon.
- Motorists traveling northbound I-75 from eastbound S.R. 60 are now using the reconstructed "loop ramp" that joins with U.S. 301 and the Selmon Expressway.
- Widened S.R. 50 from Lockhart Rd. to Remington Rd.
- Rehabilitated and repaved the Withlacoochee Trail in Citrus County.
- The new northbound I-75 rest area at mile marker 238 in south Hillsborough County reopened to motorists and features additional parking spaces to accommodate commercial vehicles, dog runs, picnic pavilions, and roadway lighting.
- Florida's Turnpike/State Road (S.R.) 91 between Osceola Parkway and Beachline Expressway/SR 528 SR 417 Ramps was widened from four to eight lanes.
- FTE completed the Turnpike Mainline Widening and SR 417 Interchange project, which increased connectivity and mobility in the Central Florida region.
- Completed the South Florida Rail Corridor Safety Improvements Project, which included high emphasis pavement markings to warn drivers and pedestrians to stay clear of the railroad tracks and enhanced the railroad crossing advanced signage at various locations in Broward and Palm Beach County.
- Completed S.R. 845/Powerline Road Improvement Project, which constructed a directional median along Powerline Road at the N.W. 59th Court Intersection to provide a bus-only left turn to the Cypress Creek Tri-Rail station and a new traffic signal accommodated a left turn from N.W. 59th Court onto Powerline Road.
- Opened the Gatlin Boulevard Park and Ride "Jobs Express Terminal" in Port St. Lucie, which features 162 free parking spaces, opportunities for carpooling, vanpooling and ridesharing, electric vehicle charging stations, a local bus stop for Area Regional Transit (ART) Route 5, and on-demand micro-transit connections and stops for regional bus services.
- Completed the S.R. 7/NW 27 Avenue Project between S.R. 934/N.W. 79 Street to S.R. 932/NW 103 Street in Miami-Dade County, a project to improve mobility on one of the county's busiest north/south corridors.
- Completed the S.R. 5/Overseas Hwy. New Seven Mile Bridge Rehab. project.
- Completed the final segment of the S.R. 997/Krome Avenue reconstruction, which included reconstructing 36 miles of Krome Avenue to improve safety and mobility.
- As part of the widening project along Florida's Turnpike/State Road (S.R.) 821 between Dolphin Expressway/SR 836 and NW 106 Street, crews completed the widening and reconstruction of the northbound Florida's Turnpike collector distributor ramp that serves both northbound Turnpike traffic exiting at N.W. 12 Street and westbound SR 836 traffic entering northbound Turnpike.
- Invested $12.8 million in the Southwest Florida International Airport Terminal Expansion, which included security checkpoints, public walkways, gates, operations areas, and associated concourse areas to meet current and projected needs.
Improve Safety, Enhance Mobility, Inspire Innovation
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The Florida Department of Transportation’s mission is to provide a safe transportation system that ensures the mobility of people and goods, enhances economic prosperity and preserves the quality of the state’s environment and communities. The department is committed to building a transportation system that not only fits the current needs of Florida’s residents and visitors but also enhances mobility throughout the state to accommodate its consistent and rapid growth. The unique nature of the Sunshine State and its year-round warm climate provides numerous opportunities to achieve the department’s mission through multiple transportation modes including highways/streets, air, rail, sea, spaceports, transit, and the ever-expanding deployment of bicycle & pedestrian facilities.