ROADS/BRIDGES: New Fla. law enhances project delivery

April 5, 2016

HB 7027 will deliver transportation improvements quicker and creates financing arm

Florida Gov. Rick Scott has signed HB 7027 into law. This legislation will deliver transportation improvements quicker and more efficiently and creates a financing

corporation that will build major projects more competitively and at lower interest rates.

FDOT’s legislative package (HB 7027) will provide significant time and cost savings in project delivery by giving the department the authority to assume responsibilities of the U.S. DOT for state projects under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). This means FDOT would be able to use this delegated authority to review or approve any highway project within the state under any federal environmental law.

FDOT Secretary Jim Boxold said, “I applaud Governor Scott and the Florida Legislature for their continued record investment in Florida’s transportation infrastructure. This legislation will allow critical transportation projects in Florida to be delivered quicker and financed at a lower cost.”

The transportation measure also creates the Florida Department of Transportation Financing Corp. which can fund significant, currently needed transportation projects that the department might otherwise be unable to deliver. This ensures that the costs of financing those projects are kept to a minimum. FDOT will now be able to leverage the favorable terms available to governmental borrowers in the tax-exempt municipal bond market when entering into long-term financing agreements. This has the potential to result in significant cost savings on large-scale projects.