Pinellas County

Proposed toll roads subject of St. Petersburg protest

Gov. must sign or veto legislation within 2 weeks

St. Petersburg FLA - They're either a path to the future or a path to destruction.
Florida could be on the verge of building hundreds of miles of new toll roads.  But not if environmental groups have their way.

Led by the Florida Sierra Club, protesters at William's Park in St. Petersburg, made it known, they oppose any notion of adding toll roads to the sunshine state.

The 3 proposed roads that they just passed will go through some of the last remote agricultural areas that we have in the state.  So they're going to jeopardize our existing nature preserves said Tim Martin, with Florida Sierra Club.

Florida legislators approved new toll roads from Collier County, Fort Myers, to Polk County,  The Florida Turnpike to the Suncoast Parkway., then north the Georgia line.

Supporters envision economic growth, and new jobs. St. Petersburg Representative, Wengay Newton likes the idea. We also got to make sure we have the capacity to get people of harm's way when imminent danger is upon us. As you saw with Irma when we reversed all the lanes on I-75, it was a parking lot said Newton.

Opponents fear damage to pristine wooded areas and unbridled sprawl. I just think about going to Tampa or Orlando, you're going through 2 or 3 toll roads it feels like.  And this is going through like a large unprotected like, rural land which I don't feel like should be destroyed even more said Sou Debah.

If signed into law, construction could start in 3 years.

The Sierra Club is calling on the governor to get out his veto pen.

You have to veto something this that would destroy not only 300 miles for the road, but also probably a million acres for the resulting sprawl as afterwards said Tim Martin.

The clock is ticking. Governor DeSantis has about 2 weeks to either sign the law or veto it.


 


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