Today, Governor Ron DeSantis announced more than $1.6 million in funding for infrastructure projects in rural Florida communities.
Today, Governor Ron DeSantis announced more than $1.6 million in funding for infrastructure projects in rural Florida communities.
Governor Ron DeSantis today announced more than $3 million in funding through programs from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) for infrastructure and workforce training in small and rural Florida communities, including several affected by Hurricane Michael. [Read more…] about Governor Ron DeSantis Announces More Than $3 Million Awarded to Improve Infrastructure and Workforce Training in Small and Rural Communities
Tomorrow, April 5th, Governor Rick Scott will announce funding for a transportation project that benefits the Jacksonville community and highlight a record $10.1 billion in transportation infrastructure included in his Securing Florida’s Future budget. Since Governor Scott took office in 2011, investments in transportation have increased by $3.3 billion.
WHAT: Transportation Budget Highlight
WHEN: 11:15 AM
WHERE: Shands Bridge Pier
4051 Old Shands Bridge Boat Launch
Green Cove Springs, FL 32043
U.S. Congressman Brian Mast (FL-18) today sent a letter to President Donald J. Trump asking him to prioritize the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) and the Central Everglades Planning Project (CEPP), including completion of the reservoir authorized by Florida Senate Bill 10, in his budget request to Congress this year.
The text of the letter is below and attached:
January 17, 2018
President Donald J. Trump
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20500
Thank you for supporting the needs of all Floridians by advancing an expedited timeline to rehabilitate the Herbert Hoover Dike. This action is a critical step in ensuring the safety of millions of Floridians.
Beyond the rehabilitation of one of the country’s most vulnerable pieces of infrastructure, however, there is a greater mission ahead: the completion of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) and the Central Everglades Planning Project (CEPP).
While the rehabilitation of the Herbert Hoover Dike is necessary to flood control and human safety, it is just one part of a much larger and comprehensive series of infrastructure projects required to preserve the health, economy and environment of Florida. These Congressionally-authorized projects create a roadmap to ensure the survival of Florida’s ecosystem, which has been continually altered by the federal government over the past century. Without restoration, Floridians from across the state will continue to combat life threatening events through rising waters, devastating storms and ecological destruction.
I ask that as you move forward with expediting the completion of the Herbert Hoover Dike rehabilitation that you also include requests to expedite CERP and CEPP. Expediting CERP and CEPP will do more than just preventing a catastrophic flood. These projects will restore sustainability, livelihoods and resiliency of communities that have been lost at the hands of the federal government. In order for this to succeed, we need:
Expediting the Herbert Hoover Dike is a great signal that your Administration intends to fulfill the promises of the federal government to correct the water problems imposed on Floridians under previous Administrations. Completion of the dike is an important step, but holding water in Lake Okeechobee does not solve the fundamental issue of safely and responsibly channeling that water to where nature always intended it to flow: the Everglades.
I look forward to working with you on removing bureaucratic inefficiencies and ensuring adequate appropriations to put the entire solution back on track. Including these priorities in your budget request for fiscal year 2019, prioritizing CERP and CEPP along with the Herbert Hoover Dike, would go a long way toward achieving our shared objectives.
Brian J. Mast
Member of Congress
A new report suggests Florida takes care of its infrastructure better than any other state.
The analysis by 24/7 Wall St, a financial reporting firm, puts the Sunshine State at the top of the heap based on its review of federal records on the conditions of roads, bridges, dams. It also looked at how much each state prioritizes highway spending.
Here’s what the report, dubbed “States That Are Falling apart,” concluded about Florida:
— 3.2% of the state’s roads are in poor condition (3rd best in the U.S.)
— 2.1% of its bridges are rated as deficient (also 3rd best)
— 6.3% of the state’s dams are considered at “high hazard risk” (9th best overall)
— 8.7% of Florida’s total government spending is spent on highways (only seven states spent more as a percentage).
The simple words spoken by an elderly woman in Cape Coral are as an example of why UCF engineering Assistant Professor Luis Arboleda-Monsalve works so hard to make a difference in his profession, which in turn has a direct impact on hurricane readiness.
“She told us to make sure to do something good with the report,” said the structural and geotechnical engineer. “That’s what we are doing, issuing a set of recommendations about building codes and standards so we not only help infrastructure be more resistant, but also more resilient so that after the next disaster, people can return to their normal lives as quickly as possible.”
The woman was one of hundreds in Cape Coral who saw the canal seawalls behind their homes collapse under the brunt of Hurricane Irma last month. These walls help keep the canals from flooding homes, protect them from the wave impact, and keep the soil under the homes stable.
Arboleda-Monsalve was one of three researchers who traveled from Cape Coral to Everglades City and from Miami to Key West taking inventory of geotechnical and infrastructure damage caused by Hurricane Irma’s storm surge, waves and subsequent flooding.
Arboleda-Monsalve is part of the Geotechnical Extreme Events Reconnaissance Association, a National Science Foundation-funded group based at the University of California at Berkeley. The volunteer organization dispatches experts in civil engineering to areas hit by natural disasters. GEER’s mission is to turn disaster into knowledge that can be used for future improvement of engineering standards and practices nationwide. Reports with observations and recommendations are posted to the GEER website, creating a national, centralized hub of peer-reviewed post-storm technical reports that can help guide the community to create, improve or modify construction practices and codes.
GEER had teams in Texas after Hurricane Harvey, in Florida after Hurricane Irma, and in Mexico after a recent 7.1 magnitude earthquake. The GEER teams arrive after emergency personnel have assembled so they don’t get in the way of distributing services to people who need it.
Two teams worked in Florida following Irma. Arboleda-Monsalve’s team included Professor Nina Stark from Virginia Tech and Professor Inthuorn Sasanakul from the University of South Carolina. They focused on geotechnical damage on bridges, roads, canals and shoreline damage from hurricane-related erosion in the west and south side of Florida. Another team focused on the north and east part of the state. A different team of structural engineers handled damage caused by wind and focused on other parts of the state affected by the hurricane.
The team collected more than 1,500 photos, and the U.S. Geological Survey, NSF, Florida Division of Emergency Management and other agencies helped them gain access to areas and target the visit to the most affected areas in the state.
“We saw a lot of seawall collapses, especially the older seawalls. The newer ones did their job,” Arboleda-Monsalve said. “Riprap, typically used to prevent erosion under bridges and coastline, did help. We also saw a lot of exposed foundations and some areas decimated. I wasn’t prepared for the human toll.”
The first Irma report was uploaded to the GEER website last week. Reports about the earthquake in Mexico and other natural disasters, including massive flooding, landslides and tsunamis in the United States and around the world, also are posted on the GEER website. “In a few months the report about Irma will be updated to include official recommendations about codes and standards. This will happen after the teams have time to go through all the data collected during their visits, Arboleda-Monsalve said.
“It’s civil engineers who come up with solutions and recommend codes and standards to help keep highrises from collapsing during earthquakes, bridges from failing under heavy truck loads and homes from being destroyed during tropical storms and hurricanes.”
“I know I’m not curing cancer, but I am making a difference,” Arboleda-Monsalve said. “By researching how our work holds up in the real world and making recommended changes when needed, we are helping keep people safe. That person from Cape Coral, I’ll never forget her words. She reminded the team that it is our responsibility to help secure our shores from the next natural disaster.”
Governor Rick Scott today announced that the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) will receive $10.8 billion in the recommended FY 2017-2018 “Fighting for Florida’s Future” Budget to make strategic transportation investments statewide and keep Florida’s world-class transportation and infrastructure system as the nation’s best.
Governor Scott said, “As the third largest state in the nation with the fourth fastest growing population, we must make sure our state is prepared to safely welcome new families, visitors and job creators. We have made significant investments in transportation for four years in a row because we know the incredible impact it has on job creation and helping Florida become a leading hub for global trade. The ‘Fighting for Florida’s Future’ Budget continues this record funding by including more than $10 billion to ensure our transportation and infrastructure system remains a national leader for decades to come.”
The Governor’s FY 2017/2018 transportation budget makes the following investments:
Florida Department of Transportation Secretary Jim Boxold said, “Governor Scott’s transportation budget provides the record funding necessary to maintain and repair existing infrastructure and prepare for future growth. Florida’s roads, seaports, airports, railways and trails will continue to meet the growing needs of Florida’s families.”
The Governor’s “Fighting for Florida’s Future” Budget makes the following transportation investments:
East Central Florida
West Central Florida
Florida Transportation Commission Chairman Jay Trumbull said, “Governor Scott’s transportation budget makes the right investments in the right places for today’s needs while preparing for tomorrow’s demands. This budget continues to recognize the diverse needs of our residents, our businesses and our visitors.”
Florida Transportation Builders’ Association President Bob Burleson said, “Governor Scott’s record budget continues important strategic investments in transportation infrastructure. The budget maintains a solid foundation for a growing economy and more jobs for Florida’s families.”
Florida Ports Council President and CEO Doug Wheeler said, “Governor Scott continues to make Florida’s seaports a priority by investing in the necessary improvements to keep up with current needs and prepare for future growth in cargo and cruise passengers.”
Floridians for Better Transportation President Sally Patrenos said, “Florida’s transportation system continues to be the best built and maintained in the country because Governor Scott knows that our residents, visitors and businesses rely on it every day.”
Asphalt Contractors Association of Florida President Kevin Wall said, “Governor Scott’s investments in Florida’s critical infrastructure demonstrate his commitment to creating one of the best and safest transportation systems in the nation.”
Florida Concrete & Products Association President Kelly Page said, “Governor Scott’s transportation budget shows why Florida’s roads and bridges are the best in the country. Governor Scott continues to focus on building a transportation system that supports Florida jobs and Florida families.”
Florida Public Transportation Association Executive Director Lisa M. Bacot said, “Florida residents and visitors who rely on local transit systems will benefit from the Governor’s transportation budget. He recognizes the importance public transportation plays in the lives of those who need it most.”
Florida Airports Council President and CEO Lisa Lyle Waters said, “Thanks to the strategic investments Governor Scott has made in Florida’s airport system, we continue to be prepared to handle record volumes in traffic and operations while at the same time making critical improvements to keep our workers and passengers safe.”
U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) and other top Senate Democrats today unveiled a major $1 trillion infrastructure spending plan aimed at creating millions of new jobs while repairing the nation’s crumbling roads, bridges and other infrastructure.
Democrats say the plan to invest $1 trillion in transportation and other infrastructure projects over 10 years would create more than 15 million new jobs and provide funding to repair roads and bridges, expand bus and rail systems, modernize ports and rebuild public schools.
“Florida is growing at a rate of nearly 1,000 people per day,” Nelson said. “You can imagine the toll that’s taking on our state’s infrastructure. This is our chance to make some much-needed repairs and create millions of new jobs in the process.”
Nelson, the top Democrat on the Senate Commerce Committee and a key sponsor of the proposal, says that if approved, the plan would likely fund several important projects in Florida.
Specifically, Nelson says the plan includes $180 billion to improve and expand bus and rail systems, which could be used to restore Amtrak service along Florida’s Gulf Coast and extend Sunrail service in Orlando. It also includes $10 billion to modernize ports and waterways, which could be used to speed up repairs being made to the Herbert Hoover Dike and deepen the ports in Jacksonville and Ft. Lauderdale to accommodate the new mega ships coming through the expanded Panama Canal, and $210 billion to fix crumbling roads and bridges.
The plan also provides, among other things, $30 billion for airport improvements, $10 billion to construct new Veterans Affairs facilities and $75 billion to modernize public schools.
Here’s a link to more information on the plan: https://www.billnelson.senate.gov/sites/default/files/Infrastructure_Plan.pdf.
U.S. Congressman Brian Mast (FL-18) today was named to the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the Foreign Affairs Committee.
As the newly sworn-in Representative for Florida’s 18th Congressional District, Rep. Mast’s top priority was securing a position on the Transportation and Infrastructure committee. In this role, Rep. Mast will be best positioned to make progress on a number of important infrastructure projects in the 18th Congressional District, including pressing water infrastructure concerns that must be resolved with the United States Army Corps of Engineers to protect the region from environmental disaster.
“Serving on the Transportation and Infrastructure committee puts me in the best possible position to tackle the pressing water issues in our community,” Rep. Mast said. “Fighting for clean, safe water for future generations is a non-negotiable priority. I’m committed to tackling these issues head on to ensure that the projects affecting the Indian River Lagoon and our beaches are prioritized moving forward.”
Rep. Mast was also named to the Foreign Affairs Committee. A 12-year Army veteran, Rep. Mast fought on the front lines of the war against terror and has the physical scars that serve as a daily reminder of the enemy we face and their desire to destroy our way of life.
“My time in the military will allow me to better serve our country by bringing the perspective of a soldier to the critical foreign affairs debates in Congress,” Rep. Mast said. “In the last 8 years, America’s retreat from an international leadership role has left a vacuum of power that is now being filled by our enemies, including ISIS. I look forward to reversing this troubling trend by working with our allies, including Israel, to spread the American ideals of freedom and democracy abroad.”
Rep. Mast served as a bomb technician under the Joint Special Operations Command. Following his military service, Rep. Mast worked with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the National Nuclear Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security, as well as volunteering to serve alongside the Israeli Defense Forces.
“Congressman Mast – a former special operator in the Army – displayed incredible bravery in service to our country,” Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (CA-39) said. “His personal experience will be vital to our efforts to defeat ISIS and other terrorist organizations.”
ABOUT THE TRANSPORTATION & INFRASTRUCTURE COMMITTEE
The Transportation and Infrastructure Committee has jurisdiction over all modes of transportation: aviation, maritime and waterborne transportation, highways, bridges, mass transit, and railroads. The Committee also has jurisdiction over other aspects of our national infrastructure, such as clean water and waste water management, the transport of resources by pipeline, flood damage reduction, the management of federally owned real estate and public buildings, the development of economically depressed rural and urban areas, disaster preparedness and response, and hazardous materials transportation. The Committee’s broad oversight portfolio includes many federal agencies, including the Department of Transportation, the U.S. Coast Guard, Amtrak, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the General Services Administration, the Army Corps of Engineers, and others.
ABOUT THE FOREIGN AFFAIRS COMMITTEE
The House Committee on Foreign Affairs considers legislation that impacts the diplomatic community, which includes the Department of State, the Agency for International Development (USAID), the Peace Corps, the United Nations, and the enforcement of the Arms Export Control Act.