M-CORES Statewide Newsletter: Planning Today for Tomorrow's Growth

Planning for Florida’s continued expansion is not a new concept, and intentional planning includes the use of multi-use corridors to enhance the state’s infrastructure. Please watch the video below from Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) Secretary Kevin J. Thibault, P.E. outlining how the M-CORES program can help meet the needs of Florida’s growth, revitalize rural communities, encourage job creation and enhance regional connectivity, all while protecting and preserving the state’s natural and historic resources.

As a reminder, FDOT is continuing to solicit input regarding the Multi-use Corridors of Regional Economic Significance (M-CORES) draft Task Force reports, which are posted online for public comment through Wednesday, October 14, 2020.

Members of the public who wish to provide comments may do so in the following ways:

  • Visit FloridaMCORES.com and fill out the online form provided

  • Download the online form and mail comments to 605 Suwannee St., MS 54, Tallahassee, FL 32399-0450

M-CORES In The News

The Citrus Chronicle

Task forces say new toll roads are more a 'want' than
a 'need

The Ledger

Report: Polk-to-Collier toll road shouldn’t plow new path

The Tallahassee Democrat

Residents in path of Florida toll road react to report
with fear, acceptance and anticipation

Naples Daily News

Task force navigates Florida panther protection during
toll road meeting

Southwest-Central Florida Corridor: Overview, Process, and Where are we now?
The Southwest-Central Florida Corridor’s nine-county area extends from Collier County to Polk County and is a blend of coastal and inland areas with pockets of rural, urban and suburban communities. Since our first meeting in August 27, 2019 at the Tampa Convention Center, the Southwest-Central Florida Corridor Task Force has held (5) in-person meetings, (3) webinars, (1) virtual meeting, (3) hybrid (virtual/in-person) meetings and (8) Community Open House events to discuss the needs of the corridor and how the M-CORES program could help meet those needs.

The virtual platform provided a unique opportunity to engage the task force members and the public during a time when large group meetings were challenging. The project joined efforts with (38) Subject Matter Experts (SME’s) to help the public and Task Force members share perspectives, understand issues and explore ideas and opportunities for discussions.

Per the M-CORES legislation, the Task Force was created for the Southwest-Central Florida Corridor, consisting of 47 members from state agencies, water management districts, local governments, regional planning councils, non-profit organizations, colleges and environmental groups. Throughout the process, the Task Force worked with FDOT to recommend areas within the study area that should be avoided by the project, as well as areas that should attract the project.

The Florida Legislature charged each Task Force with providing recommendations and evaluations in a final report by November 15, 2020. These recommendations will guide the FDOT in its study phases through the implementation of high-level needs, guiding principles, and instructions regarding development of the Southwest-Central Florida Corridor. After recommendations, the project advances to the Study phase. During this phase, potential Southwest-Central Florida Corridor paths/courses will be evaluated for consistency with the Guiding Principles and recommendations from the Task Force report.

The Guiding Principles from the Task Force’s report will continue to be utilized by FDOT to guide and inform the development of the project. During the Study phase, FDOT will continue to determine the economic and environmental feasibility of the project and seek public input and will proactively coordinate with local governments within the project area. This will be done through hybrid meetings (virtual/in-person) with both the local governments and the general public throughout the corridor at key milestones during the Planning process.

Public engagement, communication, education and opportunities for feedback will continue to be a vital part of the M-CORES program as we move forward in the next step to create Florida’s future together.

Northern Turnpike Corridor: How meaningful conversations help shape the future of transportation

The mission of the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is to provide a safe transportation system that ensures the mobility of people and goods, enhances economic prosperity and preserves the quality of Florida’s environments and communities. The mission fits well with the public involvement process, which plays a crucial role in guiding projects and programs to meet those goals, including the Multi-use Corridors of Regional Economic Significance (M-CORES) program and the Northern Turnpike Corridor.

FDOT understands that public input, thoughts and opinions on projects and programs are critical to shaping the future of transportation in Florida. Comments create a record of public involvement in a project and help decision-makers identify solutions they may not have initially considered.

Public involvement helps determine the level of acceptance for a project and allows decision-makers to respond to needs, grievances and preferences.

There are no requirements or restrictions on who can comment, and FDOT welcomes all opinions. A comment can be as brief as a sentence, address specific aspects, or respond to all aspects of a proposed regulation. Opportunities to provide comments are offered in-person at events, and comments can be provided online, mailed or emailed.

Public involvement provides an opportunity to make your voice heard, and your opinions and ideas are important to FDOT. For the M-CORES program, public meetings have been held in every local government jurisdiction in which the projects are being considered. During these meetings, there is time dedicated for public commentary.

The Northern Turnpike Corridor project has welcomed members of the public to engage and comment at several events since the program launch in August 2019, including Task Force meetings and Community Open House events. The public is also encouraged to send FDOT feedback, ideas and comments via email at FDOT.Listens@dot.state.fl.us.

Suncoast Corridor: Residents weather storm to attend suncoast corridor community open house

On Tuesday, September 29, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) hosted a Community Open House for the Suncoast Corridor at the Gilchrist County Woman’s Club in Trenton. As the meeting got underway, a storm front began moving through the area, bringing with it gusty winds and heavy rain.

In spite of the inclement weather, residents from as far away as Jefferson County came to get the latest information on the project and talk with project staff. Attendees included county commissioners and town council members from municipalities near the Woman’s Club. Over the course of the two-hour meeting, more than 40 people came through the open house and asked questions and provided feedback on the M-CORES program and the Suncoast Corridor. Several attendees left written comments, and these will be shared with all project staff as well as Suncoast Corridor Task Force members.

“It was wonderful to see so many folks brave the storm to come and talk with us at the Community Open House,” said Ryan Asmus, FDOT’s Project Lead for the Suncoast Corridor. “We got some great questions from attendees, I’m glad we got the chance to answer them and to help explain where we are in the process. We really appreciate Gilchrist County welcoming us into their community and allowing us to host an event there.”

The Suncoast Corridor has another Community Open House scheduled for October 22 at the Madison Church of God in Madison. For more information about this and other upcoming events, please visit FloridaMCORES.com.

Upcoming Events

FDOT continues to provide in-person and virtual options for Task Force Meetings and Community Open Houses to share progress and gather your input. 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.

By working together, we can determine successful transportation solutions for everyone and ensure the state’s infrastructure is best prepared for generations to come.

Additional events will take place in all three corridors in the coming weeks. Please see below or check our Calendar of Events for other upcoming meetings in your area.

Southwest-Central Florida Corridor Events

Task Force Meeting #9:
October 19, 2020, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

AdventHealth Fieldhouse & Conference Center
​Bonita Springs / Estero ELKS Lodge #2753

Public Viewing Site #1
AdventHealth Fieldhouse & Conference Center
210 Cypress Gardens Boulevard
Winter Haven, FL 33880

Public Viewing Site #2
​Bonita Springs / Estero ELKS Lodge #2753
3231 Coconut Road
Bonita Springs, FL 34134

Charlotte Harbor Event & Conference Center

Community Open House
October 20, 2020, 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Charlotte Harbor Event & Conference Center
75 Taylor Street
Punta Gorda, FL 33950

Northern Turnpike Corridor Events

Task Force Meeting #9:
October 21, 2020, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Sumter County Fairgrounds
​Citrus County Building Alliance

Public Viewing Site #1
Sumter County Fairgrounds
7620 FL-471
Bushnell, FL 33513

Public Viewing Site #2
​Citrus County Building Alliance
1196 S Lecanto Highway
Lecanto, FL 34461

Plantation on Crystal River

Community Open House
October 22, 2020, 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Plantation on Crystal River
9301 W Fort Island Trail
Crystal River, FL 34429

Suncoast Corridor Events

Task Force Meeting #9:
October 20, 2020, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Morriston Baptist Church
Dixie County Adult Education Center School Board Meeting Room

Public Viewing Site #1
Morriston Baptist Church
3141 US Highway 41
Morriston, FL 32668

Public Viewing Site #2
Dixie County Adult Education Center
School Board Meeting Room
823 SE 349 Highway
Old Town, FL 32680

Madison Church of God

Community Open House
October 22, 2020, 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Madison Church of God
771 NE Colin Kelly Highway
Madison, FL 32340

Stay In The Know

If you're interested in learning more, or would like to submit comments, email us at FDOT.Listens@dot.state.fl.us, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter. We’re here to listen to you!


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