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Author Topic: Florida Turnpike - North Extension  (Read 3852 times)

edwaleni

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Florida Turnpike - North Extension
« on: January 05, 2022, 09:48:41 PM »

https://www.ocala.com/story/news/2022/01/04/marion-commission-doesnt-change-stance-florida-turnpike-project/9088892002/

Despite many people addressing the County Commission on Tuesday asking for a tough stand against the proposed northern extension of the Florida Turnpike, the commission didn't make any change in its position.

Last month, on a 3-2 vote, the commission agreed to send a letter to the Florida Department of Transportation reminding that agency that the county's comprehensive plan "protects the Farmland Preservation Area (FPA) regarding the development expressways or toll roads."

The letter includes four points, one of which was to ask the state to "make every effort to avoid impact to existing developed residential subdivisions."

The letter ended with county officials asking FDOT "to partner" with them as the project goes through its different phases.

Commission Chairman Carl Zalak and Commissioner Kathy Bryant were on the losing end of the vote. They favored stronger language: asking FDOT to follow guidance from the MCORES task force, which would prohibit any turnpike extension crossing the Cross Florida Greenway in Marion County.

Those in attendance at Tuesday's regular meeting, the county commission's first of the year, disagreed with the letter's wording. Similar to the December meeting, many speakers, locally and from surrounding counties, went to the podium and expressed their frustrations. Some held posters and others read aloud from prepared statements.

If the turnpike extension is approved, speakers said, the roadway would severely impact the land, farmland, animals and people. They said the added concrete would ruin the area, pollute the water, rip apart people's lives, destroy the area's beauty and sully prime property for horses.

Some told commissioners that they feel neglected and that their voices are being ignored. As a warning, some went as far as to remind commissioners that their decision will be remembered at election time.



In the end, speaker after speaker asked commissioners to reconsider their stance and be like the Dunnellon City Council and the Levy County Commission. Both of those entities have urged FDOT to choose the "no build" option on the turnpike extension.

When it was time for commissioner comments near the end of the meeting, Commissioner Michelle Stone told her colleagues and those in the audience that the letter does not give FDOT the right to build any roads that would go through the area.

"All this board has done is send a letter reminding the FDOT of some of the details in our comp plan," she said.

The state will decide whether, and where, any turnpike extension is built. The process is still in the study phase.

Stone also read aloud portions of Rudyard Kipling's poem "If."

The Florida Turnpike's northern terminus is now Wildwood, near where this photo was taken on Dec. 8. The state is considering a northern extension to U.S. 19 near Florida's west coast.
Commissioners took no action and the letter, signed by Zalak as approved on Dec. 21, stands.

The proposed Northern Turnpike Extension project would extend the turnpike's northern terminus from Wildwood/Interstate 75 west to U.S. 19. Three of the four proposed routes go through Marion.

MCORES, which is short for Multi-use Corridors of Regional Economic Significance, was a 2019 state plan that called for building new toll roads in Florida. After extensive study, MCORES eventually was repealed, although the potential northern extension of the turnpike was allowed to proceed to the study phase.

The Ocala Metro Chamber & Economic Partnership supports the county's position. The CEP president, Kevin Sheilley, in an interview with the Star-Banner last month, said if approved, construction will not happen for years.

Sheilley said the CEP met with FDOT officials about the roadway and expressed concerns about the project. However, he said it's important that county officials be involved in the process so they could have a say in what happens.
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kevinb1994

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Re: Florida Turnpike - North Extension
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2022, 12:50:31 AM »

That northern alignment would help Chiefland but not really help Bronson, Ocala, nor Otter Creek.

The southern alignment is a tricky one. Iím not sure if Inverness is willing to have such a bypass. It would sure help Crystal River, however.

Either blue alignment would have an impact on Yankeetown.

With that all saidÖDunnellon seems to be the sweet spot for the extension and will be impacted no matter where the highway ends up. Donít know if that is a good thing, though.
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edwaleni

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Re: Florida Turnpike - North Extension
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2022, 01:07:49 AM »

Strategically I see a few things going on here:

- FDOT has wanted a Dunnellon Bypass for US-41 for some time. By staying close by the town, they get one in some degree
- I-75 cannot be expected to be one of 2 primary entry/exits for tourism and hurricanes (yes, I know there are other arterials)
- More tourism traffic is coming from the midwest/west and they are not flying in, but driving in
- For years the Panhandle has wanted better/closer/faster to other parts of Florida without taking the "long way" to I-75/Turnpike
- Potentially it will provide a new long term connection out of Tallahassee that doesn't rely heavily on I-10

I think its kind of silly that anytime a hurricane comes at Miami or Tampa, I-75/Turnpike turns into a stupid parking lot across the entire state.

In short, this (IMHO) is more about capacity and connectivity for the panhandle and disasters, not for reducing overall traveling times en masse.
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BlueOutback7

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Re: Florida Turnpike - North Extension
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2022, 08:23:02 AM »

So is the Turnpike planned to connect up to I-10 in Tallahassee at some point in the future or is it going to end just in Chiefland at US 41? Iíve always liked extending it northward, as it would provide a shortcut for someone going to Texas for example.
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Re: Florida Turnpike - North Extension
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2022, 08:24:38 AM »

I think there are higher priorities, such as Gainesville-Jacksonville or Ocala-Jacksonville.
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SP Cook

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Re: Florida Turnpike - North Extension
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2022, 08:58:17 AM »

I think there are higher priorities, such as Gainesville-Jacksonville or Ocala-Jacksonville.

Agree.
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RoadPelican

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Re: Florida Turnpike - North Extension
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2022, 09:02:28 AM »

Yes, an expressway to JAX should be 1st priority.  Second, should be a southern alternative expressway to I-4.  Either upgrade SR 60 or SR 70.
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VTGoose

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Re: Florida Turnpike - North Extension
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2022, 10:12:32 AM »

I think there are higher priorities, such as Gainesville-Jacksonville or Ocala-Jacksonville.

I'll go for this. The kids just moved back to St. Petersburg so we will again be doing the I-81/77-I26-I95-US301-I75 jaunt on a regular basis. While most of U.S. 301 is good highway, there are still bottlenecks and small towns that slow things down. The Baldwin Bypass is nice, as is the long-coming Starke bypass. Some new alignments of 301 and a more-direct connection to I-75 at Ocala would serve the purpose well (as long as it doesn't take 5 years for construction).

Bruce in Blacksburg
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Re: Florida Turnpike - North Extension
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2022, 10:22:20 AM »

IIRC, Swamphen also included this extension of the Turnpike on his long-gone website. While it would be nice to have, the environmental issues are just not worth it. I'd rather have a Jacksonville-Ocala toll road than have to face the Sierra Club on the Turnpike extension. Wildwood is fine as the northern terminus.
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Avalanchez71

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Re: Florida Turnpike - North Extension
« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2022, 10:40:39 AM »

The no build option is the most pallatable.
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BlueOutback7

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Re: Florida Turnpike - North Extension
« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2022, 01:11:28 PM »

Yeah I donít see why the Turnpike would need a northern extension. This looks like a pork barrel project more than anything. This extension would be absolutely devastating to the environment and pass right through horse country. You would be destroying two wildlife refuges. Isnít FL 44 good enough? Should this come to fruition, how much would this project cost?
« Last Edit: January 06, 2022, 01:16:52 PM by BlueOutback7 »
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The Ghostbuster

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Re: Florida Turnpike - North Extension
« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2022, 01:33:31 PM »

How long has the FT northern extension been proposed, and how likely does anyone think it is to be constructed?
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Avalanchez71

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Re: Florida Turnpike - North Extension
« Reply #12 on: January 06, 2022, 02:01:13 PM »

How long has the FT northern extension been proposed, and how likely does anyone think it is to be constructed?
Senate Bill (SB) 100 (2021), codified in section 339.66(6), Florida Statutes directs FDOT to commence the PD&E Study for the Northern Turnpike Extension. A report summarizing the status of the PD&E must be submitted to the Governor of Florida, President of the Florida Senate, and Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives by December 31, 2022.
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Stephane Dumas

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Re: Florida Turnpike - North Extension
« Reply #13 on: January 06, 2022, 03:45:20 PM »

I digged the Wayback Machine and I founded that info on the late Mike Natale's FL Tpk page.
http://web.archive.org/web/20040603171507/http://www.contrib.andrew.cmu.edu/~mn2n/tollfl.html

Quote
Proposed Extensions: The original plan for the Turnpike north of Orlando was to extend from Leesburg due north to Gainesville then Jacksonville, to end at Tisonia on the Georgia border, a distance of some 160 miles. The northern end was truncated and moved to Wildwood sometime between 1957 and the northern extension's opening in 1964. Currently there is a proposal to extend the northern end past I-75 to US 19 near Lebanon.

Interesting to note then the Gainsville or Ocala to Jacksonville, will be a sort of back to its roots where FL Tpk was originally planned to end at Jacksonville. Talk about going full circle.
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BlueOutback7

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Re: Florida Turnpike - North Extension
« Reply #14 on: January 06, 2022, 04:16:39 PM »

That would be a great idea. I-4 is way too dangerous across Florida with the combination of commuters and Disney bound traffic. I had no idea that the FTC proposed that back then.
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Tomahawkin

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Re: Florida Turnpike - North Extension
« Reply #15 on: January 07, 2022, 11:11:28 PM »

IMO a Florida/Alabama expansion from the Current terminus to Montgomery AL would be a great hurricane evacuation route. not to mention it would get summer spring/summer vacation traffic off of IH 10 And 75 respectively. Make tolls on the northern extension as well. Not to mention US 90, And 98 are well congested in the panhandle. I GA would get involved and tie in US 27. A lot of people take US 27 From Chattanooga to Florida to bypass Atlanta traffic, especially truckers
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edwaleni

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Re: Florida Turnpike - North Extension
« Reply #16 on: January 07, 2022, 11:44:07 PM »

IMO a Florida/Alabama expansion from the Current terminus to Montgomery AL would be a great hurricane evacuation route. not to mention it would get summer spring/summer vacation traffic off of IH 10 And 75 respectively. Make tolls on the northern extension as well. Not to mention US 90, And 98 are well congested in the panhandle. I GA would get involved and tie in US 27. A lot of people take US 27 From Chattanooga to Florida to bypass Atlanta traffic, especially truckers

I have been an advocate for a full on interstate from Montgomery south to I-10 around Marianna. It is 4 lane today but has to deal with some issues, especially around Dothan.

The planning for it has been done by ALDOT, but an argument ensued between Enterprise and Dothan. Enterprise wants it near Fort Rucker. Dothan wants a new bypass.

I agree that it should serve as the other entrance/exit to Florida for snowbirds/tourist/hurricane mobility, but most importantly, divert Florida bound traffic away from the craziness in Atlanta.

ALDOT is somewhat prepared for this with the future I-85 going south of the city (currently AL-108 is only a stub) for a future link with US-80 to Selma. They said it would terminate at this new I-85 in some future.

How that would interface with a future road coming north from Chiefland isn't exactly clear and may not at all. But it could certainly cosign with I-10 briefly before moving on.

Another limiting factor is that anything built too far west has to deal with a large amount of swamp land which will require dirt importation (or a lot of lakes).

I noticed that one proposed route follows the edge of the Ocala Ridge pretty closely.
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lamsalfl

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Re: Florida Turnpike - North Extension
« Reply #17 on: July 24, 2022, 02:35:22 AM »

Any updates on this project?
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Alex

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Re: Florida Turnpike - North Extension
« Reply #18 on: July 24, 2022, 10:19:48 AM »

Any updates on this project?

Only mounting opposition. The M-CORES projects in general have been poorly received, and the media tends to favor the NIMBY point of view as usual.

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Re: Florida Turnpike - North Extension
« Reply #19 on: July 25, 2022, 03:56:38 AM »

I understand there will be opposition to new highways but with a growing state it is inevitable that there will need to be new safer routes needed. If the current attitude today existed in the 1950s then we never would have had the highway system that we will all benefit from.
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Re: Florida Turnpike - North Extension
« Reply #21 on: August 09, 2022, 11:03:37 AM »

The current roads canít handle the growth, itís got to go through. Plus more growth will be coming to make it worse.  Most of Levy is protected wilderness so possible Walmart and home building is not going to be generated if it goes through there.

The problem lies with Citrus as they are the core of the NIMBY of this as they want it built, but donít do it where I can see it.
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Re: Florida Turnpike - North Extension
« Reply #22 on: August 09, 2022, 03:30:29 PM »

The original plan for the Suncoast was to build it as far north as Red Level between Citrus CR 488 and the Ron Goldsmith Bridge over the Cross Florida Barge Canal, where a portion of Alternative Corridor C for the proposed Turnpike extension is today. Plus, between CR 495 and US 19 and 98. I say the median should be widened and lined with trees in the park-like setting that would earn the name Suncoast Parkway for the road. Maybe I'm guilty of bringing my "Yankee standards" into Florida, but I want to have a good reason to call the road a parkway, and not just because a bunch of old ladies call all limited-access highways "parkways" even when they aren't.

I also wish they had kept the old alignment of the former terminus and built a widened median east of the Etna Turpentine Camp Archeological Site, then rejoined the current route north of Citrus CR 490. That's part of the reason I'm not a big fan of the current alignment. But believe it or not, I'm going to go there on my next daytrip.





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Avalanchez71

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Re: Florida Turnpike - North Extension
« Reply #23 on: August 10, 2022, 09:42:03 PM »

The current roads canít handle the growth, itís got to go through. Plus more growth will be coming to make it worse.  Most of Levy is protected wilderness so possible Walmart and home building is not going to be generated if it goes through there.

The problem lies with Citrus as they are the core of the NIMBY of this as they want it built, but donít do it where I can see it.

I was just through that area and I believe I saw a sign that said no Turnpike build or something like that.
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The Ghostbuster

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Re: Florida Turnpike - North Extension
« Reply #24 on: August 11, 2022, 11:29:16 AM »

Should the Turnpike be extended? It has ended at Interstate 75 since 1964. Perhaps that is still a logical terminus.
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