Bill would scrap Mid-Bay Bridge Authority
February 22, 2012 6:41 PM
NWF Daily News
Less than a year after surviving the state budget process, the Mid-Bay Bridge Authority again is fighting to stay intact. Legislation that would dismantle the Bridge Authority will be debated today on the Senate floor in Tallahassee. The measure, which is a conforming bill tied to the state budget, would fold the Bridge Authority into Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise.
“It’s going down the same road as it did last year,” said Jim Vest, executive director of the Bridge Authority. “The Senate is driving it.”
The Bridge Authority on Feb. 16 approved a resolution opposing any effort to transfer the agency to the Turnpike Enterprise.
“We’re paying back our long-term debt to the (Department of Transportation),” Vest said. “The Mid-Bay Bridge and the Mid-Bay Bridge Connector would not be a reality if it had been left up to the Turnpike (Enterprise).”
During the 2011 legislative session, Sen. Don Gaetz spearheaded a push for the state to take over the Bridge Authority, along with the Tampa-Hillsborough Expressway Authority and the Orlando-Orange County Expressway Authority.
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