With more people staying at home and off the roads during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the state of Florida is speeding up some infrastructure projects, including a major one in Miami-Dade County.
Gov. Ron DeSantis said the coronavirus outbreak is a “golden time” to make progress on construction projects like a multi-million dollar redesign of Interstate 395 in downtown Miami. The project is set to better connect communities within Miami and redefine the skyline with a six-arched signature bridge.
"I think that there’s an opportunity to take advantage of that. We have roads that would cause massive traffic that might not be the case right now,” DeSantis said. “I have told the Secretary of Transportation here that they need to accelerate $1.2 billion in transportation projects."
Drivers in Miami-Dade are among those who could see projects completed faster, including the $802 million plan to redesign Interstate 395, Interstate 195 and the Dolphin Expressway.
State officials said that while the project is getting more money, the timetable still has the project not being completed until 2023 - however, they believe it could finish several months ahead of schedule.
DeSantis added that state agencies are making sure that construction crews are following safety guidelines to help prevent workers from possibly contracting the coronavirus during this pandemic.
Already, some areas of South Florida have taken advantage of the drop in road traffic. Key West has repaved part of the usually busy Duval Street in the past week while the first phase of construction along the U.S. 1 bridge at Cow Key near the city has been advanced.