Editorial: Florida doesn’t need another toll road boondoggle

State lawmakers are considering building a unneeded toll expressway right through North Florida’s springs heartland, fueling sprawl and diverting funding from more pressing transportation projects.

And while it may not seem Panhandle counties have a dog in this hunt, we do — which is why local residents should contact our lawmakers right away and register their disapproval before this grandiose scheme, which is moving fast in both the House and Senate and includes extensions to connect it to other high-speed corridors, makes it into the final version of next year’s budget. Over the next 10 years, the plan lawmakers are considering would siphon at least $1.5 billion from state road funding, and probably more (when’s the last time a major road-building project didn’t go over budget?)

There are better uses for that money. Adding insult to injury, this project is being championed in a relatively good budget year, but it commits lawmakers to more than 10 years of ongoing costs. Is it prudent to imagine that will continue for another decade?