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Old August 23rd, 2011, 10:25 PM   #1
Lakelander
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Jacksonville mayor comes out against new toll road

Interesting set of events in Jacksonville. The City's new mayor isn't to fund of Rick Scott and FDOT's plans to turn an existing road into a part of a toll outer beltway in Jacksonville. For years FDOT pitched the project as a PP3 but no private company jumped on it (because roads simply don't make money), so now FDOT wants to do it themselves instead of letting it die.

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Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown said Friday he opposes plans to turn the First Coast Outer Beltway from Interstate 10 to Blanding Boulevard into a toll road.

Brown said it’s a mistake to pursue a toll road when the economy is in bad shape. The project is being done by the Florida Department of Transportation, so Brown’s opposition won’t stop the project from moving forward.

“I’m disappointed that something is being done in tough economic times that will cost people more money,” Brown said. “We got rid of tolls a long time ago and now is not the time to bring them back.”

Long term the state plans to build the Outer Beltway from I-10 to Interstate 95 in St. Johns County, a 46.5-mile road that would cost $1.8 billion. Right now the state only plans to widen the existing 15-mile road to four lanes, build overpasses at major interchanges and toll it.

Tolls would begin in 2016 when the $291 million project concludes. It is expected to cost 15 cents a mile.

Brown advocated public-private partnerships to build infrastructure when he was running for mayor and said he might have been willing to support the project if a private developer wanted to do it.

But he disagrees with the state’s plan to build and maintain the road itself. The state originally looked for a private partner who would build, maintain and charge tolls on the road, but no private company was willing to do the job.

“Private industry wasn’t interested in doing this because they didn’t think it would make money,” Brown said. “And the state shouldn’t be doing this on its own.”

The mayor said he plans to talk with Gov. Rick Scott about the project and let him know that Jacksonville doesn’t want any more toll roads.
full article: http://jacksonville.com/opinion/blog...-new-toll-road
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Old August 24th, 2011, 06:18 AM   #2
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well Lakelander good to see that he is opposing this but the tide in Florida regarding this issue is against him. Just look at Orlando where just about every major expressway is tolled & the same thing is happening in Miami. As we all well know talking to dictator Scott isn't going to get him anywhere.
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Old August 24th, 2011, 05:50 PM   #3
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No doubt. It's just nice to see the local Jacksonville government starting to move in a different direction from the rest of the State when it comes to transportation planning. They are now getting ready to implement a mobility fee that will locally fund the construction of a couple of streetcar and commuter rail lines over the next five to ten years in addition to modifying land use policies to support sustainable development and slow the proliferation of sprawl.
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Old August 24th, 2011, 08:21 PM   #4
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If I'm not mistaken, I believe Jax is the only major city in Florida with no toll roads.
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Old August 24th, 2011, 09:55 PM   #5
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I think it speaks for itself when a private company isn't willing to operate and maintain a toll road but will do so for a High Speed Rail line. How many interested bids were there for the Tampa to Orlando HSR? Around 8 or something? And yet not one private company will take up the risk of running a toll road.

I'm happy that Brown has stood up against the "revolutionary toll roads" being proposed all across the state. Wish other mayors had the same balls to do the same.
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Old August 25th, 2011, 12:34 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FLAWDA-FELLA View Post
If I'm not mistaken, I believe Jax is the only major city in Florida with no toll roads.
And it used to be the one Florida city synonymous with toll roads.
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Old September 21st, 2011, 12:49 PM   #7
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Political fallout over Scott and Brown's disagreement over the Outer Beltway continues:

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Alan Mosley resigns as head of FDOT in Northeast Florida

Submitted by Larry Hannan on September 20, 2011 - 1:42pm

The Florida Department of Transportation will be looking for a new leader in Northeast Florida.

Earlier this week Alan Mosley resigned, effective immediately, from his position as district secretary for 18 counties in Northeast Florida. Mosley had been in the position since February, 2010.

In a letter to FDOT staff, Mosley said he was resigning to return to the private sector, and was leaving now to devote his time to finding a new job.

Mosley, who previously served as chief administrative officer to former Jacksonville Mayor John Peyton, did not say why he was resigning. It's also unclear if this is his choice, or if he was forced out.

FDOT has recently been stuck in a spat between Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown and Governor Rick Scott. Brown has criticized FDOT's plan to build and toll the First Coast Outer Beltway, but still said he wants to build the road without tolls.

When Brown first came out against the road, he said no one from FDOT or the governor's office had briefed him on the project.

Mosley also faced criticism when he argued that plans to widen and toll the Beltway, which is now Branan Field Road and Cecil Commerce Parkway, is not turning a free road into a toll road. Mosley argued that the road is being changed so much, it is essentially a new road.
http://jacksonville.com/opinion/blog...theast-florida
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Old September 21st, 2011, 02:34 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TampaMike View Post
I think it speaks for itself when a private company isn't willing to operate and maintain a toll road but will do so for a High Speed Rail line. How many interested bids were there for the Tampa to Orlando HSR? Around 8 or something? And yet not one private company will take up the risk of running a toll road.

I'm happy that Brown has stood up against the "revolutionary toll roads" being proposed all across the state. Wish other mayors had the same balls to do the same.
GO MAYOR BROWN!

I definitely agree that Rick Scott is going way too far with his plans to toll nearly every single highway in FL. And I don't doubt that he & the legislature will ram measures through to eliminate the OOCEA & the THCEA. They failed last time, but next time, I'm sure they will succeed.
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