Northern Turnpike Connector

Saving Special Places • Building Better Communities

Citrus, Levy, Marion and Sumter Counties

Part of the M-CORES project, the proposed Northern Turnpike Connector extends southeast from the Suncoast Connector to the northern terminus of the Florida Turnpike.  The planning area encompasses Citrus, Levy, Marion and Sumter Counties. Florida Department of Transportation Assistant Secretary Tom Byron chairs the task force with Florida Turnpike Director Christina Colon serving as co-chair.

Also involved in the planning process are representatives of the Tampa Bay, East Central, North Central and Apalachee Regional Planning Councils (RPCs), the Suwannee River, Southwest Florida and St. John’s River Water Management Districts (WMDs), the Hernando/Citrus, Ocala/Marion and Lake-Sumter Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs), representatives of the three counties, impacted municipalities and others.  President Paul Owens is representing 1000 Friends of Florida on the Task Force.  More information on each of these entities is included below.

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

“…evaluate design features and the need for acquisition of state conservation lands that mitigate the impacts of project construction within the respective corridors on:

      • The water quality and quantity of springs, rivers, and aquifer recharge areas;
      • Agricultural land uses;
      • Wildlife habitat.”

Visit FDOT’s M-CORES Northern Turnpike Page for more information on 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–Lee Constantine:  M-CORES expressway planners must think green (Orlando Sentinel, 1/23/20)

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


Northern Turnpike Corridor Resources

  • POSTPONED March 25 in Ocala — Northern Turnpike Task Force Meeting #5
  • POSTPONED March 26 in Chiefland — Northern Turnpike Community Open House
  • April 29 in Lecanto — Northern Turnpike Task Force Meeting #6
  • TBD — Northern Turnpike Community Open House
  • June 3 in Bushnell — Northern Turnpike Task Force Meeting #7
  • June 4 in Lecanto — Northern Turnpike Community Open House
  • July 9 in Ocala — Northern Turnpike Task Force Meeting #8
  • TBD — Public comment period on draft report recommendation
  • September 2 in Lecanto — Northern Turnpike Task Force Meeting #9
  • TBD — Submit Task Force Reports to Governor and Legislature

Visit FDOT’S Northern Turnpike Connector Page to confirm details

Northern Turnpike Corridor Planning Entities

Visit the FDOT Northern Turnpike Connector Page for the list of Task Force members

Task Force Chair and Co-Chair:
Chair: Florida Department of Transportation Assistant Secretary Tom Byron

Co-Chair: Christina Colon, Florida Turnpike Director

FDOT District Office Secretaries:
Northeast Florida District 2 Secretary Greg Evans, 386-961-7800 (Levy County)

Main Office: 1109 South Marion Avenue, Lake City, Florida 32025-5874, (800) 749-2967

Central Florida District 5 Secretary Mike Shannon, 386-943-5474 (Sumter and Marion Counties)

Main Office: 719 South Woodland Boulevard, DeLand, Florida 32720, (800) 780-7102

West Central Florida District 7 Secretary David Gwynn, 813-975-6000 (Citrus County)

Main Office: 11201 N. Malcolm McKinley Drive, Tampa, Florida 33612-6403, (800) 226-7220

Metropolitan Planning Organizations:

Hernando/Citrus MPO

Ocala/Marion TPO

Lake-Sumter MPO

Comprehensive Plans for Impacted Counties:

Citrus County Local Comprehensive Plan

Levy County Comprehensive Plan — not available online

Marion County Comprehensive Plan 2035

Sumter County Comprehensive Plan — not available online

Regional Planning Councils (RPCs):

Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council (Citrus County)

East Central Florida Regional Planning Council (Marion and Sumter Counties)

North Central Florida Regional Planning Council (Levy County)

Water Management Districts:

Suwannee River Water Management District (Portion of Levy County)

Southwest Florida Water Management District (Citrus, Sumter and part of Levy and Marion Counties)

St. Johns River Water Management District (part of Marion County)