Unnecessary toll roads are progressing quickly despite questions and concerns from the public.
Multi-use Corridors of Regional Economic Significance
In May 2019, Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law a bill creating the Multi-use Corridors of Regional Economic Significance (M-CORES). M-CORES anticipates three new toll roads, winding through rural Southwest Florida all the way to the George state line. The bill could create as many as 350 miles of new unnecessary and expensive toll roads that will cost taxpayers money and result in devastating environmental impacts.
The M-CORES program is split into three corridors. The corridor that impacts Southwest Florida is known as the Southwest Central Corridor. This corridor could stretch from I-75 in Collier County up to I-4 in Polk County, cutting right through the heart of conservation lands, rural agricultural areas, wetlands and wildlife habitat, especially the habitat needed by the endangered Florida Panther.
The Conservancy has been providing data and analysis to demonstrate there is no acceptable alignment for this road, and Floridians would be better served by having their tax dollars used to make necessary infrastructure improvements, such as broadband to rural areas and improved hurricane shelters. We vigorously opposed this project when it was proposed by the Florida Legislature, and asked the Governor to veto the authorizing bill. As a veto did not occur, we are continuing our opposition through participating in the meetings held by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and the task force created to draft guiding principles for the Southwest Central Corridor. Our opposition is backed by data and analysis demonstrating the environmental sensitivity of the areas the toll road could impact, including our white paper linked here.
Our efforts are bolstered by the more than 85 businesses and organizations that are members of the No Roads to Ruin coalition, where the Conservancy serves as a steering committee member. This coalition is dedicated to collectively fighting to stop the destructive and unnecessary toll roads.
More information about the toll roads will be coming soon to the Conservancy of Southwest Florida’s website, and you can learn more by visiting the No Roads to Ruin website at http://noroadstoruin.org/.