For Immediate Release
December 29, 2023


Florida Department of Transportation Highlights 2023 Accomplishments in Florida’s Transportation Infrastructure

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Today, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) highlighted its over-the-year accomplishments in improving Florida’s transportation infrastructure. Accomplishments throughout 2023 have focused on historic investments in projects to reduce congestion, increase efficiency and movement of people and goods through the supply chain, ensure safety, advance innovative technology solutions, and support the long-term resiliency of Florida’s transportation infrastructure. Rather than follow the lead of the U.S. Department of Transportation focused on politicizing pavement, the Department has focused its work on delivering on its mission and getting projects completed.

“This year has been a milestone year for Florida’s transportation industry. With several landmark projects nearing completion and others beginning construction, FDOT will modernize Florida’s transportation network and positively impact the quality of life of Floridians and of our visitors,” said Florida Department of Transportation Secretary Jared W. Perdue, P.E. “The Department is grateful for the leadership of Governor DeSantis and the support of the Florida Legislature for investing in Florida’s future with a historic transportation budget. In addition to this record funding, Governor DeSantis’ Moving Florida Forward Infrastructure Initiative allows the Department to advance key projects in our current Work Program which will relieve congestion, maintain our robust supply chain, and keep pace with Florida’s growing needs and future demands.”

The signing of Governor DeSantis’ Focus on Florida’s Future Budget dedicated a historic investment in Florida’s transportation infrastructure with $15.6 billion in funding for statewide transportation projects, including $14.3 billion slated for the current year of the Five-Year Work Program. This includes $5.4 billion for highway construction, $1.9 billion in resurfacing, $381.7 million for bridge maintenance repairs and replacements, $210.1 million for safety initiatives, $334.4 million in aviation advancements, $109.6 million in seaport improvements, and $997.7 million in rail and transit enhancements. Additionally, $4 billion was allocated for the monumental Moving Florida Forward Infrastructure Initiative to advance 20 priority transportation projects years ahead of schedule to address congestion from Florida’s unprecedented population growth and record-breaking tourism.

Toll Relief to Florida’s Commuters

The Department’s commitment to commuters continued to be a primary focus throughout the year as apparent with programs that created savings for FDOT’s customers during times of federally induced inflation. Following the success of the SunPass Savings program, Governor DeSantis’ commitment to financial relief for Florida’s families continued in 2023 by establishing a one-year Toll Relief Program to benefit Floridians who frequently commute on Florida toll roads. The program launched in January and provided a 50 percent account credit each month to commuters who incurred at least 35 toll transactions. Funded with the State’s general revenue surplus, the program did not impact funding for transportation projects. The Toll Relief Program reduced commuter costs by approximately $470 million, benefiting 1.2 million Floridians with an average savings of nearly $400 each.

Responding to Disasters

FDOT led emergency response efforts in-state, across the country, and throughout the world, including coordinating efforts to respond to Americans seeking help in returning from Israel in October and responding to the devastating building collapse in Iowa in June. FDOT took immediate action when responding to sudden flooding in Broward County due to record rain in April, as well as with response and recovery efforts this hurricane season. As Hurricane Idalia approached in late August, FDOT deployed nearly 700 team members, including almost 100 Bridge Inspectors and 224 Cut and Toss crew members, and staged nearly 250 pieces of major equipment, including dump trucks, pumps, and other heavy equipment, as well as nearly 1,100 generators. Alongside industry and community partners, FDOT provided safe access for first responders, utility workers, and partner agencies to assist with restoring communities. Teams were activated as soon as winds subsided and worked tirelessly with cut and toss operations. FDOT crews cleared and reopened a 15-mile stretch of Interstate 10 (I-10) in Madison County significantly littered with debris and an estimated 10,000 downed trees of varying sizes within 12 hours, and bridge inspections on all state-owned bridges in the impacted areas were also completed within that same timeframe. After this work was completed, FDOT’s scope expanded by working with fiscally constrained counties to quickly restore access to off-system roads, including clearing debris from bus routes to minimize learning disruptions for students, allowing them to return to school quickly and restore some normalcy in these communities.

FDOT’s 2022 hurricane response efforts were also recognized this year, with FDOT being awarded a Southern Association of State Highway Officials (SASHTO) Quality of Life/Community Development Award for the Emergency Response Access to Sanibel Island following Hurricane Ian. The project was named one of 2022’s top-12 transportation projects in the country by the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials (AASHTO) America’s Transportation Award. Since the opening of FDOT’s legacy project, the I-4 Ultimate continues to be recognized across the industry, including recently earning an Asphalt Pavement Alliance Perpetual Pavement Award, American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) Outstanding Project Awards, and a SASHTO Award for Operations Excellence for the I-4 Ultimate Project.

Commitment to Communities

The Department’s commitment to delivering on historic funding begins with proactive engagement with communities across the state, which was even more critical than ever with the increase in projects through the Moving Florida Forward Infrastructure Initiative. Strong and continuous community engagement with project development and construction has allowed FDOT to prioritize each community’s vision and transportation needs while also responding to the unprecedented population growth as Florida surpasses more than 22.5 million current residents and hosts a record-breaking 137.6 million visitors annually in 2022, with those records on track to be broken again in 2023.

Investing in Transportation Infrastructure

Several projects to better communities across Florida either broke ground or were completed in 2023, receiving overwhelming community support and showcasing FDOT’s commitment to ingenuity and community-led solutions.

  • The Brooks Bridge Replacement project in Northwest Florida will construct two new parallel bridges over Santa Rosa Sound and officially broke ground in August. The new bridges will increase capacity and improve access between downtown Ft. Walton Beach and Okaloosa Island and will enhance safety for all road users by adding shoulder lanes for emergencies and disabled vehicles and 12-foot-wide shared use paths for pedestrians and cyclists on both bridges. This project has been a priority for the local community for years and FDOT is proud to be a part of making this vision a reality.
  • FDOT completed construction on a new interchange on I-75 at Overpass Road in Pasco County in January. This project creates additional capacity and congestion relief around State Road (S.R.) 52 and County Road (C.R.) 54 in one of Florida’s fastest growing regions.
  • The Henry E. Kinney Tunnel project in Southeast Florida, which completed substantial work to the southbound tunnel chamber in October and anticipates completion for northbound and southbound tunnel chambers in early 2024, brings increased functionality and enhanced safety to one of Florida’s two public tunnels. In addition to structural improvements that will improve connectivity along U.S. 1, FDOT worked with the City of Ft. Lauderdale to create enhancements to the Laura Ward Pedestrian Plaza, which is directly above the tunnel in downtown Ft. Lauderdale. These achievements are a significant milestone in enhancing the Henry E. Kinney Tunnel's infrastructure, safety, aesthetics, and historical significance while aligning with the community's vision.

Prioritizing Safety

FDOT continues to focus on safety within the transportation network, from job site team members to those using the transportation system. Significant investments in several safety-focused projects were prioritized, most notably a $45 million expansion of Florida’s Wrong Way Vehicle Detection System to an additional 380 off-ramps across Florida, a $60 million investment in Florida’s uniquely designed rumble strips on over 3,000 centerline miles of highway to prevent lane departures and reduce fatal accidents, $14 million for safety technology enhancements of Florida’s state-owned moveable (draw) bridges to help protect pedestrians and cyclists, and a $100 million targeted investment in improved intersection lighting for pedestrian safety. With pedestrians and cyclists being some of the most vulnerable customers, the completion of projects like the Fuller Warren Bridge Shared Use Path in Northeast Florida provides a dedicated pathway separated from road traffic for pedestrians and cyclists to safely cross the St. John’s River and connect local communities by another way than by vehicle. The completion of the Gulf Stream Roundabout in Southwest Florida provided an innovative design of a multi-lane roundabout with enhanced safety features to replace the former signalized intersection. Features like LED lighting, Pedestrian Hybrid Beacon crossings, and new sidewalks and walking paths provided enhanced safety for pedestrians and cyclists to accompany the increased safety and mobility that a roundabout provides. These campaigns all support FDOT’s goal to reduce the number of transportation-related serious injuries and deaths across Florida to ZERO.

Enhancing Technology

As technology rapidly transforms the world around us, FDOT remains at the forefront of emerging technology and incorporates innovative design elements and technology to create an infrastructure network that is always prepared for the future.

One way to ensure FDOT continues to prepare for and lead the way in developing and implementing new technology is the SunTrax Transportation Testing Facility, which held its official groundbreaking in June. Located in Auburndale and the first of its kind in the Southeast, companies across the globe can now use this 475-acre facility to test and implement emerging technologies with controlled high-speed automated vehicle testing. SunTrax features a 2.25-mile test track and 200-acre infield for continuous automated vehicle testing and simulation. Recently, SunTrax was awarded SASHTO’s Best Use of Technology & Innovation Award.

Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise’s commitment to providing the highest level of customer service was reaffirmed as the state’s prepaid toll transponder, SunPass, was recognized this year as the most interoperable transponder in the nation. SunPass has reciprocity in 22 states and accepts 12 transponder brands in FDOT facilities, both of which are more than any other state in the country.

  • In 2023, the development of the nation’s first regional hub-to-hub interoperable toll blueprint was completed, allowing seamless travel and payment between the Sunshine State, Kansas, Oklahoma, and parts of Texas, earning a 2023 International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association (IBTTA) Toll Excellence Award for Customer Service and Marketing Outreach.
  • Additionally, as the Department’s efforts continue to ensure Florida is a national leader, FDOT’s Information Technology office was commemorated with Florida Public Sector Cybersecurity Summit Digital Services Awards for Incident Response Team of the Year and the Collaboration and Partnership Award.

Supporting a Robust Supply Chain

Florida’s unique geography and proximity to international trade partners, coupled with world-class airports, seaports, roadways, and freight rail network, create conditions for trade unlike any other state. FDOT’s critical role in maintaining a robust supply chain impacts the economy locally, regionally, statewide, and nationally, resulting in key investments in all modes of transportation throughout 2023, including roadway construction and multimodal transportation projects.

As part of the Department’s mission to improve safety and enhance mobility along Florida’s Strategic Intermodal System (SIS), FDOT invested $33 million in the Port Canaveral Cargo Berth Rehabilitation and Modernization project, which is critical to the Port’s expansion of facilities to accommodate a growing and increasingly diverse cargo business portfolio. FDOT partnered with Port Panama City with a $4.4 million financial commitment for reconstructing a biomass dome to add sufficient capacity, impacting critical freight rail services and product transport. In partnership with Bay Line Railroad, the Department’s $1.2 million investment to help reconstruct the Bay Harbor Lead makes Panama City a global hub for trade, tourism, talent, innovation, and business. The previous SIS investments of $89.2 million in harbor deepening at Jacksonville Port Authority (JAXPORT) and a $43.5 million investment in waterway convergence realignment led to a new port record set in May for the largest container ship ever to call JAXPORT. Nine vessels of this size now call JAXPORT weekly, creating a 60 percent increase in container carrying capacity over the previous ships in service, supporting jobs and encouraging economic growth throughout the Southeast region and beyond.

Additionally, the first segment of the S.R. 25/Okeechobee Road project in South Florida was completed. This reconstructed intersection will allow for increased capacity and improvements for freight movement and passenger vehicles to and from Miami-Dade County. The widening and new alignment of S.R. 52 in Pasco County broke ground in 2023 and will improve connectivity between the Suncoast Expressway and U.S. 41, bringing greater capacity for access to these critical corridors in Florida’s supply chain network.

FDOT also made strategic investments throughout the year to support airport expansion projects at Southwest Florida International Airport, Sarasota/Bradenton International Airport, and Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.

Increasing Options for Florida’s Commuters

In June, the highly anticipated SunRail Phase Two North Station broke ground in DeLand, which will serve as the northern terminus of the Central Florida commuter rail line. Transit options, including the Miramar Park and Ride Lot Project, which serves 95 Express Coach riders, will address the growing demand for parking for the Express Coach and provide a more convenient option for riders. It features 470 vehicle parking spaces, 18 bus parking spaces, and 10 handicapped parking spaces.

Developing a Skilled Workforce

As the Department leads the nation in innovation, safety, and a diverse project portfolio, the importance of recruiting new talent, as well as retaining current FDOT team members and their wealth of institutional knowledge, is vital to the Department’s ability to execute the mission and a Work Program that continues to grow each year. The Department is people-focused and purpose-driven in efforts to promote opportunities and affiliate with industry leaders and partners to develop the workforce. Thanks to Governor DeSantis and the Florida Legislature’s $9.5 million allocation to support FDOT’s Recruit and Retain Program, along with other dedicated funding such as furnishing commercial driver licenses and providing core training needs, the Department continues to focus on enhancing employment opportunities to deliver a robust and diverse transportation system. A dedicated Workforce Development Program has been established to prioritize the Department’s efforts, including the development of an FDOT Corridors Team, modernization of a co-op program to align workforce and education needs, expansion of partnerships with universities and vocational schools to enable an easier pathway to employment, and enhancement of leadership programs to build the bench. In addition to focused efforts and succession planning, FDOT continues to collaborate with industry partners to strengthen the talent pool and address needs, provide resources and hiring events, and ensure Florida has a robust transportation workforce.

Ensuring a Return on Investment through Hardening and Resiliency Efforts

Florida’s exponential growth demands a more reliable infrastructure network built with resiliency in mind to ensure the current work endures for generations to come. FDOT intentionally and proactively incorporates these needs into planning, design, project implementation, and future preparedness. The Department works to identify innovative design applications to strengthen existing infrastructure, such as placing wave attenuation devices offshore along the Sunshine Skyway Bridge to mitigate shoreline impacts from major weather events. In some cases, decades-old infrastructure must be replaced to meet the new needs and transportation demands of a community, such as on Florida’s Space Coast. The new NASA Causeway Bridge is currently under construction to build two bridges to serve the community and growing space industry. The new bridges will create a more robust and resilient infrastructure for spacecraft and increased payloads while also improving connectivity for motorists on the bridge and marine traffic below. In 2023, one of the two bridges opened to traffic more than 100 days ahead of schedule. Upon completion of that eastbound bridge, construction began on the westbound bridge, which is expected to be completed in early 2026. This project will directly support more than 150,000 jobs along this crucial high-tech corridor and enhance Florida’s ability to create more jobs in the space industry.

Maintaining a Commitment to Florida’s Environment & Natural Spaces

FDOT aims to protect Florida’s beauty and natural resources by incorporating projects like strategically placed wildlife crossings and the newly designed Environmental Education Center located at the I-75 Rest Area on Alligator Alley. This improved rest area, set to open in early 2024, will feature educational amenities like an observation tower, boardwalks, trails, and walkways to allow visitors to learn more about the natural beauty of the Everglades.

Florida's Shared-Use Nonmotorized Trail (SUN Trail) Network received an additional infusion of $200 million dollars during the 2023 Legislative Session. This one-time appropriation to further plan, design, and construct the SUN Trail Network will ensure outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy Florida's natural beauty for years to come.

Previewing the Year Ahead

As FDOT looks ahead to 2024, the Department remains committed to continuing to deliver on its mission and supporting the long-term investment in transportation infrastructure both for today and tomorrow as Florida continues to see surging population growth and record-breaking tourism. Many priority projects will begin or continue in the coming year, most notably the groundbreaking of several Moving Florida Forward Infrastructure Initiative projects. Projects slated for construction in 2024 include the Southwest 10th Street Connector in Deerfield Beach, widening of S.R. 70 from Bourneside Boulevard to Waterbury Road in Bradenton, enhancements to I-95 at Golden Glades Interchange in Miami, reconstruction of I-4 from Champions Gate to Osceola Parkway in Davenport, and interchange improvements at I-4 and S.R. 33 in Lakeland as well as I-75 and Fruitville Road in Sarasota.

FDOT’s mission is to provide a safe and efficient transportation system that ensures the mobility of people and goods, enhances economic prosperity, and preserves the quality of the state’s environment and communities. FDOT strives to ensure Floridians are proud that the Sunshine State is the best place to live, learn, work, commute, and play, and that residents and visitors alike are offered the best transportation network with a variety of travel options. For more information, visit

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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.