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State vows to streamline highway construction projects after I-Team investigation

Posted at 10:40 PM, Aug 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-27 22:40:56-04

TAMPA, Fla. -- Back in May, we discovered state-approved construction delays that were clogging up your commute.

On Tuesday, we caught up with Florida Transportation Secretary Kevin Thibault about what he plans to do to fix the problem.

“What I've told all my team at the department is we need to streamline project delivery, the time it takes to get from concept to concrete, we need to streamline… so this is just a part of that the construction concrete part,” Thiebault said.

RELATED: FDOT gave contractor more time for Gandy project, potentially avoiding thousands in fines for delays

That recent I-Team investigation uncovered Tampa Bay area projects were being delayed by more than 15,000 days, or 41 years.

We found the state granting holiday and weather delays so contractors could avoid paying thousands in fines.

That includes 600 extra days added to expand Gandy Highway in Pinellas County, with 165 straight days off for bad weather

In the wake of our investigation, Governor Ron DeSantis and Secretary Thibault ordered FDOT to cut down on those delays.

Thibault says that process has already started.

“I'm trying to get everybody engaged in where we need to go with the Governor's vision and that's all part of it… streamlining project delivery,” he said.

The secretary did not give any specifics about how he plans to save drivers and taxpayers time and money, but he says his staff is dedicated to speeding up road construction projects.

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