S.R. 54/56 toll road proposal officially rejected

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S.R. 54/56 toll road proposal officially rejected

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) has finally rejected an unsolicited proposal to build and operate an elevated toll road in the State Road 54/State Road 56 corridor in southern Pasco County.

FDOT officially announced its rejection of the proposal from International Infrastructures Partners (IIP) LLC, and OHL Infrastructures on 9 May 2014.

Ananth Prasad, FDOT secretary, stated:

The department (FDOT) was unable to reach an agreement with (IIP) on a framework of financing and various design concepts for the corridor that would be acceptable to all parties and address the concerns of the local community. In absence of this framework, advancing this project would not make any sense. If the state's going to put equity in this, then we would go through a different approach.

Prasad said OHL representatives presented various options for the project. The firm finally said it could not build the project without taxpayer dollars, what killed the deal.

The private proposal was also facing an overwhelming public opposition.

The team submitted the unsolicited proposal to the Florida Department of Transportation last summer. In late August, Florida DOT sought competitive proposals for developing SR 54 & 56 as a toll concession but no bids were submitted.

The consortium intended to negotiate tolling rates and other revenue-sharing proposals with state transportation officials but no final agreement was reached. The initial lease would last 45 years but could be extended to 99 years.

The proposal included the upgrade of a 2×3 lane surface arterial  FL54/56 to a tolled expressway in a 33 mile (52km) corridor between Newport/Richey at US19 near the Gulf Coast to Zephyr Hills at US301. The proposed phasing included:

  1. Phase 1 the central portion of about 10 miles from Bruce B Downs Blvd near I-75 west to the Suncoast Parkway Toll-589.
  2. Phase 2 of 12 miles would extend the pike west to the coast at New Port Richey and US19 near the coast.
  3. Phase 3 of 11 miles would go east from Bruce Downs Blvd near I-75  to US301 at Zephyrhills.

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