Extension of Florida Turnpike will have ‘profound impact’ on Sumter County

A 40-mile westward extension of the Florida Turnpike, slated for completion in about a decade, will profoundly affect Sumter County.

County Administrator Bradley Arnold told commissioners this week that the county’s role in the extension is pivotal with Wildwood as the current end of the turnpike.

“It’s almost impossible for that turnpike extension not to have an impact on Sumter County,” he said.

Arnold said he recently attended a Northern Turnpike task force meeting, where environmental effects were discussed. He said the exact route has not been determined.

The northern extension is part of an ambitious plan for more than 300 miles of new turnpike roads endorsed this year by the state legislature. The northern extension would connect to the Suncoast Parkway, which would be extended 150 miles north to the Georgia border. A new turnpike also is planned in southwest Florida from Polk County to Collier County.

Task forces for each project are in the initial phase. The groups are expected to issue final reports in a year, when official planning would start. Construction of all three projects is scheduled to begin in 2022, with completion by 2030.

Projects will be financed by the sale of revenue bonds, the State Transportation Trust Fund and loans from the Florida Department of Transportation Financing Corporation. An estimated $100 million a year will be needed, according to an internet description of the plan.

A goal of the turnpike expansion is to boost economic development in rural Florida counties, but some officials of those counties were skeptical at a recent task force meeting. The northern extension also would divert some traffic from congested Interstate 75 and aid hurricane evacuation. Broadband internet service and RV sewer hook-ups would be provided along the routes.

A turnpike extension has been rejected several times since 1999, when a proposed 49-mile, $500-million extension was scrapped after local governments opposed it.

The latest effort has been dubbed M-CORES, which stands for Multi-use Corridors of Regional Economic Significance.

More Headlines

Suleiman family took between $700,000 and $2 million in COVID-19 aid

The Suleiman restaurant family has received between $700,000 and $2 million in COVID-19 relief aid.

Big donors in county race lined up for government assistance

Some of the major political donors in the Sumter County Commission race lined up for government money being handed out as a result of the Coronavirus crisis.

Photos

Brown Anole With Extended Dewlap

This brown anole with an extended dewlap was spotted on Fenney Nature Trail. Thanks to Naly de Carvalho for sharing! Share your local photos with...

Mother Osprey Attending To Chicks

This mother osprey was spotted attending to her chicks. Thanks to Kirk Freundt for sharing! Share your local photos with us at https://villages-news.com/contact-us!

Sherman’s Fox Squirrel On Hogeye Pathway

Check out this Sherman's fox squirrel spotted on Hogeye Pathway. Thanks to Sam Boatman for sharing! Share your local photos with us at https://villages-news.com/contact-us!

Letters to the Editor

Masks and personal freedom

A Village of Tall Trees resident asks what’s so tough about wearing a mask? Read his Letter to the Editor.

Business

Two Cody’s Original Roadhouse locations preparing to reopen in The Villages

Two of the three Cody’s Original Roadhouse locations in The Villages are preparing to reopen Wednesday amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Crime

Villager’s adult son who ‘needed money’ arrested in theft of items

A Villager’s adult son who said he “needed money” was arrested in the theft of merchandise from Wal-Mart at Buffalo Ridge Plaza.

Opinions

Sanitize the Sumter County Commission cesspool

Writing in an Opinion piece, Villager Scott Fenstermaker argues its time to sanitize the Sumter County Commission "cesspool."

Top Stories

Lake County man dies of COVID-19 as virus slams two local long-term care facilities

A Lake County resident has succumbed to COVID-19 as employees at two local long-term care facilities test positive for the virus that continues to wreak havoc on Florida and the tri-county area.

Suleiman family took between $700,000 and $2 million in COVID-19 aid

The Suleiman restaurant family has received between $700,000 and $2 million in COVID-19 relief aid.

Big donors in county race lined up for government assistance

Some of the major political donors in the Sumter County Commission race lined up for government money being handed out as a result of the Coronavirus crisis.

Letters to the Editor

Masks and personal freedom

A Village of Tall Trees resident asks what’s so tough about wearing a mask? Read his Letter to the Editor.

Here’s why it is important to say ‘Black Lives Matter’

A Village of Pine Ridge resident explains why he believes it is important to acknowledge that Black Lives Matter. Read his Letter to the Editor.

CNN’s slanted take on video shot in The Villages

A Village of Osceola Hills resident, in a Letter to the Editor, is the latest to offer his opinion on the infamous “white power” video.

Crime

Villager’s adult son who ‘needed money’ arrested in theft of items

A Villager’s adult son who said he “needed money” was arrested in the theft of merchandise from Wal-Mart at Buffalo Ridge Plaza.

82-year-old Villager free again after latest violation of court order

An 82-year-old Villager was released from jail Saturday afternoon after violating a court order.

Sumter sheriff seeks help in solving murder of 61-year-old man in Wildwood

The Sumter County Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public’s help as it continues to investigate a homicide from last November.