Good news, but where are the devilish details?
WILDWOOD—After cryptic and conflicting news leaks over the last 24 hours, today the
Florida Department of Transportation announced a “pause” to the Northern Turnpike Extension
In response, the No Roads to Ruin Coalition Steering Committee released the following:
“The subheading of the FDOT press release states: ‘Florida Turnpike Enterprise Alternative
Corridor Evaluation Study Concludes with no Viable Proposed Corridors.’ This is no doubt the
best news the No Roads to Ruin community has received since M-CORES reared its ugly head in
This ‘pause,’ whatever it may mean, is directly related to the mobilization of the Citrus, Levy,
Marion and Sumter county voters who dared to refuse to take ‘toll’ for an answer, and the
adoption of ‘No Build’ resolutions by the Levy Board of County Commission, Citrus Board of
County Commission, Dunnellon City Council, Inverness City Council, Inglis Town
Commission, Yankeetown Council, and Bronson Town Council.
Of special note in the FDOT announcement was the statement: ‘FDOT appreciates all the input
and efforts from the local communities, government partners, and stakeholders.’ This wholly
undercuts Sumter and Marion County commissioner claims that passing a ‘No Build’ resolution
would destroy their relationships with FDOT.
But after more than three years of fighting the varied proposed new toll roads toward getting a
‘No Build’ or ‘No Action’ decision from FDOT/FTE, we are unclear about how ‘no viable
proposed corridors’ relates to the current Project Development and Environment (PD&E) Study
and a no build/no action decision.
We have other questions including: How does this ‘pause’ impact the Department’s statutory
requirements related to the status report due to the Governor and Legislature by the end of this
year? Is the Department required, or planning to, complete the PD&E study? How long will the
voters of Citrus, Levy, Marion, and Sumter counties have to wait until the threat of this project is
We are gravely concerned that the announcement ended with ‘the project’s website,
www.floridasturnpike.com/NTE, will remain active as a resource for project updates.’ This does
not send a signal to our community that the project is dead, and until FDOT makes its position
crystal clear, we will remain vigilant and involved.
Finally, this is no reprieve for elected officials in the 4-county region, or at the state level, who
must continue to prove to their constituents that they will protect them from this unneeded,
unwanted, costly, politically-driven boondoggle. It won’t be over until the project is finally laid
BACKGROUND: In 2019, the bill creating the Multi-use Corridors of Regional Economic
Significance (M-CORES) was signed into law by Governor Ron DeSantis, and while M-CORES
was technically repealed in 2021, the menace of a proposed Northern Turnpike Extension has
Go to the No Roads to Ruin Coalition website for more information.