Florida Governor’s Budget Proposal Seeks More Than $10 Billion for DOT

Governor Ron DeSantis has released his budget request for Fiscal Year 2021-2022 chalk full of funds that could ultimately wind up in the hands of contractors.

Source : FDOT.gov

February 3, 2021

Author : Patty Rodriguez

“Our state has been tested many times before and has always passed with flying colors. Although our fight against COVID-19 has altered our economic landscape, Florida is on the road to recovery and will continue to lead,” DeSantis said in a press release.

For the Department of Transportation (DoT), DeSantis is asking for $10.4 billion to fund it through the fiscal year.

“Having a safe and efficient transportation system is critical in the everyday lives of Florida’s families and visitors and is an essential part of Florida’s prosperity. My Florida Leads budget provides critical funding for innovative and multimodal projects that will enhance safety and keep Florida moving well into the future.”

$9.47 billion would go to the State Transportation Work Program which identifies which infrastructure capacity, new highway construction, bridge repair, seaport, aviation and public transit projects that are in the most need of doing.

The proposed DoT budget is broken down further in a separate press release:

• “$2.5 billion for highway construction to include 210 new lane miles

• $1 billion in resurfacing to include 2,689 lane miles

• $122.6 million in seaport infrastructure enhancements

• $331 million for aviation improvements

• $516 million for scheduled repairs of 89 bridges and replacement of 18 bridges

• $717 million for rail/transit program advancements

• $172.2 million for safety initiatives”

Furthermore, “the budget provides $423.3 million for workforce and affordable housing programs across the state to help working families meet basic housing needs. This funding is in addition to the more than $250 million to address affordable housing needs and the increase in homelessness due to the economic downturn caused by COVID-19.”

Outside of the transportation section, there are also a number of proposals that could benefit contractors.

The budget proposal builds on previous investments in environmental restoration projects “by allocating more than $625 million for these causes,” with $473 million going to restoration of the Everglades, $50 million for restoration of the Florida Springs, and $145 million for “targeted water quality improvement.”

Environmental budget set-asides proposed by the Governor also devote $25 million for fighting algal blooms and “red tide,” and $40 million for alternative water supplies.

Should the Governor get what he is looking for, the proposal would also establish the Resilient Florida program, which would put $1 billion over the next four years in grants to the state and local governments to fight sea level rise, “intensified storm events” and flooding.

Additionally, the budget “includes $82 million to protect Florida’s prized properties and waterbodies. This includes $50 million for the Florida Forever Program and $32 million for infrastructure improvements and resource management at state parks to ensure visitors and residents alike have access to Florida’s prized properties for generations to come.”

Infrastructure would also get a boost from the “economic development” allocations, as the proposed budget includes “$50 million for the Job Growth Grant Fund to support local infrastructure and job training projects targeted towards economic recovery and development.”

“Also included is $5 million for Enterprise Florida, Inc. to engage in targeted campaigns that market the opportunities available in Florida for businesses to realize economic and job growth in the state,” the press release continued.

Another $50 million is requested for the Economic Development Transportation Fund, or the “Road Fund.” Projects in this program are aimed at facilitating economic development “by eradicating location-specific transportation problems (e.g., access roads, signalization, road widening, etc.)”

Should the governor get his proposal approved, it would pave the way for a large number of contracting gigs. Since a busy contractor is a happy contractor, here’s to keeping public works rolling on in 2021.

Category : Contractor Trades Coronavirus Pandemic Department of Transportation Economic Stimulus Green Construction Investment in Infrastructure State Government