Header Photo: On May 18, Governor Ron DeSantis and the Florida Department of Transportation announced the opening of five new Interstate 4 (I-4)/State Road (S.R.) 408 flyover ramps three months ahead of schedule. During this time, FDOT has accelerated more than 40 transportation projects throughout the state.
Throughout Florida’s fight against COVID-19, it has never been more apparent how essential having a robust transportation system is to the health and well-being of our state and country.
Those in the transportation industry have worked tirelessly to keep food and essential items on shelves, as well as delivering vital supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE) to those caring for our most vulnerable.
In addition to responding to the crisis, the transportation industry has transformed its day-to-day practices to make sure operations can continue safely and efficiently. Under the direction of Governor Ron DeSantis, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) has worked around the clock with partners to take precautions to safely keep Florida moving.
Since March 5, FDOT Secretary Kevin Thibault has held weekly calls with Florida’s seaports and the Florida Ports Council, as well as with public-use airports, to continue open lines of communication. On each call, Florida Department of Health experts provide vital updates and answer any questions leadership may have. The continued leveraging of partnerships in concert with these regular lines of communication with seaports and public-use airports play a critical role in safely re-opening the state.
In addition to these weekly calls, FDOT has accelerated more than 40 transportation projects throughout the state including the I-4 Ultimate project in Orlando – a significant portion of which recently opened to the public. Not only have these accelerations increased safety, mobility and travel times for motorists, they have also provided improvements in the process of transporting cargo.
In another step to protect Floridians, FDOT implemented several Executive Orders of the Governor by coordinating the implementation of checkpoints at Interstate (I-10 and I-95), as well as at the state’s commercial airports, which require those traveling to Florida from areas of significant community spread to self-isolate for 14 days or for the duration of their visit, whichever is shorter. The Interstate checkpoints do not impede commerce or the timely delivery of products across the state.
Throughout this unprecedented time, the transportation industry has not only kept Florida moving but has progressed Florida forward in monumental ways. As Governor DeSantis continues to take actions to mitigate COVID-19 and safely re-open our state, FDOT will continue its work alongside industry partners to serve Floridians and to provide the best transportation system in the nation.