M-CORES Statewide Newsletter: Task Force reports submitted to Governor and Legislature

Following 15 months of Task Force meetings and extensive public engagement opportunities, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) submitted the final M-CORES Task Force reports for the proposed Suncoast Corridor, Northern Turnpike Corridor, and the Southwest-Central Florida Corridor on November 12, 2020 to Governor Ron DeSantis and legislative leadership.

The Task Forces were comprised of a very diverse group of subject matter experts, including environmental groups, water management districts, community organizations, metropolitan planning organizations, regional planning councils, local governments, and state agencies. In addition, the Task Forces conducted extensive outreach to the public in each jurisdiction, as required, and the actionable feedback received from the public shaped the Task Force recommendations within their final report.

The three final reports will guide FDOT in its subsequent study phases through the implementation of high-level needs, guiding principles, and instructions. The final Task Force reports are now available here.

To reach this milestone, FDOT facilitated 13 in-person Task Force meetings and 26 webinars or virtual meetings since August 2019. During these meetings, Task Force members reviewed data, trends, and issues; discussed key considerations for planning transportation corridors; and received and reviewed public input.

We want to thank the many subject matter experts serving on the Task Forces who volunteered their time and expertise and helped determine high level needs and guiding principles surrounding enhancing existing corridors; broadband and utility expansion; wildlife, habitat and water resource conservation; agricultural resource preservation and economic development.

We also want to thank the public for their continued input into helping to shape the M-CORES program; this will remain a crucial part of the process. We encourage community members to stay engaged in future steps in the M-CORES program by visiting FloridaMCORES.com for updates and sending their comments to FDOT.Listens@dot.state.fl.us.

M-CORES In The News
FDOT Secretary Kevin Thibault

The Florida Channel

Press Availability with Florida Department of Transportation Secretary Kevin Thibault

FDOT Secretary Kevin Thibault

Lakeland Ledger, Tallahassee Democrat

Florida transportation head says building controversial toll roads not guaranteed

FDOT Secretary Kevin Thibault

Chiefland Citizen

FDOT Secretary says all options are still on the table for M-CORES projects

FDOT Secretary Kevin Thibault

Williston Pioneer Sun News

M-CORES: What’s next?

FDOT Secretary Kevin Thibault

Citrus County Chronicle

Thibault: All options open to extend Suncoast past Citrus

Southwest-Central Florida Corridor: Task Force Chair Thank You and Holiday Greeting
Southwest-Central Florida: Thank you video

The Southwest-Central Florida team wishes you peace and joy throughout the coming year. As we look back upon the past year, we would like to acknowledge those who have helped us shape the future of our state. It’s been quite a year for us all! Since the program’s launch in August 2019 at the Tampa Convention Center, we held nine Task Force meetings, five in-person and four hybrid (virtual/in-person) meetings, eight Community Open House events and 18 presentations to discuss the Southwest-Central Florida corridor. Overall, a total of 668 people attended the in-person meetings and 1,881 people attended the webinars and meetings virtually. At these Task Force Meetings, a total of 66 written and 233 verbal comments were offered by the public at Task Force meetings.

Over the course of 15 months, the Task Force reviewed data, trends and issues. FDOT joined efforts with subject matter experts to help the public and Task Force members share perspectives, understand issues, and explore ideas and opportunities for discussions. Thank you for your valuable comments and feedback during our Task Force meetings and Community Open Houses. We will continue to place public engagement as a high priority and will engage all stakeholders during M-CORES planning stages. Your involvement has been essential to this process.

Have a safe and happy holiday season!

Northern Turnpike Corridor: And that's a wrap!

As we move into the holiday season, the Northern Turnpike Corridor project team would like to thank the Task Force members and the Nature Coast communities for your involvement in the M-CORES Task Force phase and community engagement process during the past 15 months.

Your continued interest and voice in the project, as a member of the Task Force or as a Florida resident or visitor, provided valuable input, guidance and direction during this unique and important planning phase.

Since the program’s launch in August 2019, we held nine Task Force Meetings, engaging 534 members of the public in person and 1,553 virtually. We also held seven Community Open Houses in which 728 members of the public participated. Your comments and our conversations have helped guide the program forward in a way that represents and protects Florida’s beauty and natural resources, while recognizing and understanding our state’s unique planning needs.

As the project progresses to the coming phases, the Florida Department of Transportation will conduct an alternative corridor evaluation, which will identify and document corridors that are carried forward for further evaluation in the Project Development & Environment (PD&E) study and design phase. Environmental and financial feasibility will be evaluated during these phases. Community engagement and public involvement opportunities will continue with every step, and we hope you’ll continue to have a voice in the process.

We look forward to your ongoing engagement and wish you and your family a safe and happy holiday season!

Suncoast Corridor: Suncoast Corridor Task Force phase concludes.

In August 2019, the 41-member Suncoast Corridor Task Force convened for the first time in Tampa, kicking off a first-of-its-kind process to proactively plan for Florida’s future.

Over the course of 15 months, the Task Force members worked diligently toward a common goal of issuing a report with evaluations and recommendations for how best to develop a multi-use corridor of regional economic significance within an eight-county study area. Together with project staff and an engaged public, the Suncoast Corridor Task Force adapted to and overcame the challenges associated with COVID-19 and completed their report on Oct. 20, 2020.

With 13 guiding principles and accompanying instructions, the Suncoast Corridor Task Force final report lays the foundation for FDOT to use in the planning phase of the project. Ranging from guidelines regarding conservation land acquisition to recommendations for leveraging new technology, the report’s guiding principles also reflect the priorities of stakeholders represented by the Task Force members. FDOT and the Suncoast Corridor project staff are grateful for the collaboration, expertise, and candor of our Task Force members, and we look forward to continuing to work together as we move into the next phase of the project.

In addition to the contributions from the Task Force members, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is grateful for the engaged public who actively participated in Suncoast Corridor events throughout the Task Force phase. Attending the Task Force meetings were 2,414 people, including 568 at in-person meetings and 1,846 at virtual and hybrid meetings. These attendees provided dozens of written comments and 294 comments during the public comment period of the meetings.

Additionally, 634 people participated in eight Community Open Houses, providing 207 written comments while there.

“An active, engaged public is exactly what we need as we work to plan for our future,” said Ryan Asmus, FDOT’s Project Lead for the Suncoast Corridor. “Understanding the priorities and goals of those who live and work within the corridor helps FDOT plan better. We are grateful to all who have come to our meetings or given us feedback, and I look forward to continuing to seek and receive their input as we move into the planning phase.”

To stay up to date on the Suncoast Corridor, please visit FloridaMCORES.com.

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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