Letters to the Editor

Florida ranks high in quality infrastructure

A recent report from the national transportation research group TRIP lists Florida’s transportation infrastructure among the best — and safest — in the country.

The report shows that 96 percent of Florida’s highways are in fair or good condition.

Compared to other large states (California at 70 percent, New York, 83 percent, Texas, 88 percent, national average, 89 percent), it’s easy to see how Florida’s transportation policies are providing reliable and safe roadways for our residents and visitors.

Although these statistics reflect a significant achievement for the Florida Department of Transportation, it’s important to note how we got here.

In the 23 years since the federal gas tax was last raised in 1993, the federal share of Florida’s transportation construction budget has fallen from 50 percent to just 25 percent.

More and more, states are being left to identify new funding sources to expand and maintain their transportation infrastructure.

Many states simply haven’t come up with a solution.

In those states, so new roadway projects are being delayed, infrastructure is deteriorating, and congestion is increasing.

Florida, on the other hand, has legislated that it would use tolling as a way to help fund expansion and ongoing maintenance for new highway projects.

With South Florida’s 95 Express, Broward County’s 595 Express and Orlando’s I-4 Ultimate Improvement project as examples, Florida proceeded with multibillion dollar improvements to reduce congestion on our crowded highways, provide relief and travel choices to commuters, and kept the economy growing.

While there is much work to be done to improve mobility and reduce congestion, travelers in the state should feel proud of the efforts of forward-thinking leadership working to solve our toughest transportation challenges.

Gus Pego,

South Florida district leader

and vice president of HNTB Corporation