As Hurricane Irma barreled up the spine of Florida in September 2017, residents who live around the northern reaches of the Suncoast Parkway saw what a statewide race to evacuate looks like.
The parkway ended at U.S. 98 and dumped motorists out near the Hernando-Citrus county line. Cars lined up bumper-to-bumper on roadways that never see congestion, and hurricane supplies from gasoline to bottled water along the route evaporated.
Now there is a plan to take the parkway through Citrus County and north all the way to Georgia. Local officials from Hernando and Citrus counties last month gave it their stamp of approval. The state has not settled on the pathway north of Citrus to the Georgia state line.