- Associated Press - Monday, February 8, 2016

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - Before the Suncoast Parkway opened, a consultant predicted that it would be so full of cars its toll booths would rake in $150 million a year by 2014.

The Tampa Bay Times reports (http://bit.ly/20PE1dt) that forecast wasn’t close. Nor were the next two. The consultant eventually settled on a forecast of $38 million a year.

But when 2014 rolled around, the road was so empty it collected a mere $22 million.

Yet the Florida Department of Transportation now wants to spend $256.7 million to extend the Suncoast another 13 miles north through Citrus County. And the projections the DOT is relying on to justify what has been dubbed Suncoast 2 are from the same consultant that got the first phase so wrong.

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Information from: Tampa Bay Times (St. Petersburg, Fla.), http://www.tampabay.com.

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