Senate president says Florida’s usual planning process ‘not realistic’ for toll roads

Senate President Bill Galvano defended the tight timelines for creating more than 300 miles of toll roads, saying the Department of Transportation’s usual process is “not realistic” because it’s too slow.

“The days of relying on a five-year plan are … not realistic in modern Florida, a Florida that’s the 14th largest economy on the planet,” Galvano, R-Bradenton, said Tuesday.

Galvano was the main proponent of the road projects, which the Legislature passed this year, even though the transportation department did not have the roads in its five-year plan. The state Department of Transportation uses that plan to guide its long-term planning process; it includes any projects that will be in the works, from planning to construction, in the next five years.