Southwest-Central Connector

Saving Special Places • Building Better Communities

From Polk to Collier County

Part of the M-CORES project, the proposed Southwest-Central Connector extends 140 miles from Polk County south to Collier County.  The planning area encompasses nine counties:  Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Lee and Polk Counties.  Florida Department of Transportation District 1 Secretary L.K. Nandam is chairing the task force with Tracy A. Hood serving as co-chair.

Also involved in the planning process are representatives of the Southwest Florida and Central Florida Regional Planning Councils (RPCs), the South Florida and Southwest Florida Water Management Districts (WMDs), the Collier, Lee County, Charlotte-Punta Gorda, Heartland and Polk Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs), representatives of the nine counties, impacted municipalities and others.  Board member Andrew Dickman represents 1000 Friends on the Task Force.  More information on some of these entities is included below.

Under the provisions of SB 7068, on August 1, 2019 FDOT established the Southwest-Central Florida Connector Task Force.  In addition to general task force responsibilities outlined in SB 7068, the legislation also specifies that the Southwest-Central Connector Corridor Task Force shall also:

    • “Address the impacts of the construction of a project within the corridor on panther and other critical wildlife habitat and evaluate in its final report: the need for acquisition of lands for state conservation or as mitigation for project conservation,” and
    • “Evaluate wildlife crossing design features to protect panther and other critical wildlife habitat corridor connections.”

Visit FDOT’s M-CORES Southwest-Central Page for details on upcoming and past meetings, and 1000 Friends’ M-CORES page for links to resources including citizen primers, maps and webinar broadcasts.   Check out these recent Op Eds by 1000 Friends of Florida Board Members:

Opinion–Vicki Tschinkel:  Florida’s three proposed toll roads cut through precious natural land (Tampa Bay Times, 1/12/20)

Opinion–Tim Jackson:  Miami-Dade commuters’ tolls will pay for North Florida roads they won’t use (Miami Herald, 12/12/19)

See full text of recent Op Eds

Southwest-Central Florida Connector Resources

Fort Myers Map

UPCOMING SOUTHWEST-CENTRAL M-CORES EVENTS:

  • January 30 in Arcadia — Southwest Central Community Open House
  • February 13 in Moore Haven — Southwest Central Community Task Force Meeting #4
  • TBD — Southwest Central Community Open House
  • March 4 in Sebring   — Southwest Central Task Force Meeting #5
  • March 26 in Sebring — Southwest Central Community Open House
  • April 1 in Arcadia — Southwest Central Task Force Meeting #6
  • May TBD — Southwest Central Community Open House
  • June 24 in Punta Gorda — Southwest Central Task Force Meeting #7
  • June 25 in North Fort Myers — Southwest-Central Community Open House
  • July 22 in Wauchula — Southwest-Central Task Force Meeting #8
  • August TBD — Public Comment period on draft report recommendation
  • September 23 in Lakeland — Southwest-Central Task Force Meeting #9
  • TBD — Submit Task Force Reports to Governor and Legislature

Visit FDOT’s M-CORES Southwest-Central Page for details on upcoming and past meetings.

Southwest-Central Corridor Planning Entities

Visit the FDOT Southwest-Central Connector Page for the list of Task Force members

Task Force Chair and Co-Chair:

Chair: Florida Department of Transportation Southwest Florida District 1 Secretary L.K. Nandam, 863-519-2201 

Co-Chair: FDOT District 7 Consutlant Project Management Engineer Tracy A. Hood

FDOT District 1 includes Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Lee & Polk Counties

Main Office: 801 N. Broadway Avenue, Bartow, Florida 33830-3809, (800) 292-3368
Southwest Area Office: 10041 Daniels Parkway, Ft. Myers, Florida 33913, (239) 225-1900

Metropolitan Planning Organizations:

Charlotte County-Punta Gorda MPO 

Collier MPO

Heartland Regional TPO (DeSoto, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands Counties)

Lee County MPO

Polk TPO

Regional Planning Councils (RPCs):

Southwest Florida Regional Planning Council (Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry & Lee Counties) 

Central Florida Regional Planning Council (DeSoto, Hardee, Highlands & Polk Counties)

Water Management Districts:

Southwest Florida Water Management District (DeSoto, Hardee, and portions of Charlotte, Highlands & Polk Counties) 

South Florida Water Management District (Collier, Glades, Hendry, Lee, and portions of Charlotte, Highlands & Polk Counties)