M-CORES to Steer Florida’s Future

Florida, known for its beautiful beaches, natural wonders and vibrant tourist attractions, continues to grow rapidly. In fact, over 600 people move to the Sunshine State every day.

To meet increasing demands and to plan for growth 20-25 years into the future, it’s critical that our state invests in infrastructure initiatives. Our state leaders are doing just that – by embarking on what could be the most significant expansion of Florida’s infrastructure since the 1950s/1960s.

The Multi-use Corridors of Regional Economic Significance (M-CORES) program involves three proposed corridors that could help set the stage for Florida’s future:

  • Suncoast Connector – 150 miles from Jefferson County to Citrus County
  • Northern Turnpike Connector – 40 miles through Citrus, Levy, Marion and Sumter counties
  • Southwest-Central Florida Connector – 140 miles from Polk County to Collier County

The program strives to:

  1. Protect the environment and natural resources
  2. Improve regional transportation connectivity throughout Florida
  3. Create a robust multimodal transportation infrastructure, including travel choices such as freight and passenger rail, public transit, and paved trails for hiking and biking
  4. Leverage technology to enhance quality of life and public safety
  5. Revitalize rural communities
  6. Encourage job creation

Last summer, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) kicked off a 13-month evaluation phase. Each M-CORES corridor has a task force made up of subject-matter experts from state agencies; water management districts; regional planning councils; colleges and universities; local governments; environmental groups; and community members. The task forces are conducting public meetings to discuss various program components and to develop guiding principles and recommendations regarding potential economic and environmental impacts. In the three public task force meetings to date, task force members have proposed guiding principles based on specific needs of each corridor which will assist them as they visualize potential paths/courses as they move forward and work toward their recommendations.

Each task force will submit a final report to the Governor, President of the Senate, and Speaker of the House of Representatives by October 1, 2020. If the department finds that a corridor is economically and environmentally feasible, consistent with Florida law, it could move forward for further development.

Community Open Houses Coming Up This Month

Public participation and stakeholder input are vital to the M-CORES planning process. Through multiple public meetings, a robust website, the FDOT.Listens@dot.state.fl.us email account, and many more channels for input and feedback, the department is making every attempt to engage the public on this important proposal.

So far, we’ve gotten to share program information and listen to your questions and comments at seven community open houses – attended by about 300 citizens. By working together, we can determine successful transportation solutions for everyone and ensure the state’s infrastructure is best prepared for generations to come.

This month we’re holding several Community Open Houses to share progress and gather your input. You can come by anytime during the meetings to view exhibits, use interactive maps, talk with staff about your questions and share your comments.

Additional Open Houses, as well as Task Force public meetings, will take place in all three corridors throughout the year. Please check our Calendar of Events for other upcoming meetings in your area.

Guests looking at project boards

Southwest Central Florida Corridor Community Open House

Community Open House #4
THURSDAY, JAN. 30, 2020
5:30 -7:30 p.m
.
Turner Agri-Civic Center Exhibit Hall
2250 N.E. Roan St.
Arcadia, FL 34266

Event Details ▸

Presenter using interactive map

Northern Turnpike Corridor Community Open Houses

Community Open House #3
(Joint meeting with Suncoast Corridor)
TUESDAY, JAN. 28, 2020
5:30 -7:30 p.m.
College of Central Florida — Levy Campus
15390 N.W. Highway 19
Chiefland, FL 32626

Event Details ▸

Community Open House #4
(Joint meeting with Suncoast Corridor)
THURSDAY, JAN. 30, 2020
5:30 -7:30 p.m.
National Guard Armory – Crystal River
8551 W. Venable St.
Crystal River, FL 34429

Community open house meeting

Suncoast Corridor Community Open Houses

Community Open House #3
MONDAY, JAN. 27, 2020
5:30 - 7:30 p.m.

IFAS Auditorium
203 Forest Park Drive
Perry, FL 32348

Community Open House #4
(Joint meeting with Northern Turnpike Corridor)
TUESDAY, JAN. 28, 2020
5:30 -7:30 p.m.
College of Central Florida — Levy Campus
15390 N.W. Highway 19
Chiefland, FL 32626

Community Open House #5
(Joint meeting with Northern Turnpike Corridor)
THURSDAY, JAN. 30, 2020
5:30 -7:30 p.m.
Crystal River Armory
8551 W. Venable St.
Crystal River, FL 34429

Community workshop

Community Workshops

Community Workshops offer local, small-group interaction on M-CORES with FDOT representatives. If your community association or civic organization is interested in learning more about M-CORES, program staff would be happy to attend one of your meetings.

To schedule a workshop, please email us at FDOT.Listens@dot.state.fl.us. Be sure to include the potential meeting location, date and time, and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Public participation is vital to the M-CORES process, and there are many ways to share your comments or ideas.

If you’re interested in learning more, please visit FloridaMCORES.com, follow us on Facebook and Twitter, or visit us at our upcoming Community Open Houses. We’re here to listen to you!

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