TALLAHASSEE -- Gov. Rick Scott signed the state's $77 billion budget nearly two months ago. But Monday, his office announced how $15.9 million of it would be spent on 11 sections of the bike-trail known as the "Coast to Coast Connector" in Central Florida.
Florida lawmakers, led by incoming Senate President Andy Gardiner, R-Orlando, have been trying to two years to line up the $50 million to finish the 250-mile trail of unbroken bicycle path stretching from the Gulf of Mexico in St. Petersburg to the Canaveral National Seashore on the Atlantic Ocean. Nearly 75 percent of the trail is already completed, but broken up by gaps.
Scott vetoed money for the project last year, but signed a smaller allocation this year that allows for work to start in nine counties in the Tampa Bay and Metro Orlando regions. Now the Department of Transportation is identifying which stretches would get the first allocation of cash.
Scott said in a press release the projects "will help to bring more tourists to our state, and create jobs for families in our state."
They include the following stretches of trail:
• Brevard Co. Line to Aurantia Rd - $5.6 million
• Canaveral Ave to Max Brewer Causeway and Max Brewer Causeway to Atlantic Ocean - $100,000
• SR 33 to Silver Eagle Rd - $1.5 million
• Van Fleet State Trail to Villa City Rd - $1.3 million
• Seg 1 - Hiawassee Rd to Pine Hills Rd - $530,000
• Seg 2 - Clarcona¿Ocoee Rd to Seminole Co. Line - $1.1 million
Seminole/ Volusia County
• Wayside Park over US 17/92 Bridge and US 17/92 Bridge over Spring to Spring Trail - $100,000
• Withlacoochee State Trail to Van Fleet State Trail - $350,000