The Suncoast Connector Task Force is commissioned to evaluate the Northern Turnpike Connector corridor, which extends from Citrus County to Jefferson County. The task force will work in coordination with the Florida Department of Transportation to address the need for the corridor and its potential economic and environmental impacts. As the work of the task force progresses, the location of the right-of-way corridor will be determined as well as the location of public infrastructure such as interchanges, stormwater ponds, and other ancillary highway improvements.

The task force may consider and recommend innovative ways to combine right-of-way acquisition with the acquisition of lands or easements to facilitate environmental mitigation or ecosystem, wildlife habitat or water quality protection or restoration. The task force will specifically study how project design and land acquisition can mitigate the impact of construction on the water quality and quantity of springs, rivers and aquifer recharge areas; agricultural land uses; and wildlife habitat.

The task force will summarize the results of its analysis in a final report by October 1, 2020.

Suncoast Connector Task Force

No.  State Agencies/Commissions/Partnerships Member Name/Title
1 Florida Department of Transportation Greg Evans, District Two Secretary
2 Florida Department of Transportation Jason Peters, District Three Director of Operations
3 Florida Department of Environmental Protection Chris Stahl, State Clearinghouse Coordinator
4 Florida Department of Economic Opportunity Brian McManus, Chief of Staff
5 Florida Department of Education Mary Cross, Assistant District Administrator, Division of Blind Services
6 Florida Department of Health Paul D. Myers, Administrator, Alachua County
7 Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Chris Wynn, North Central Regional Director
8 Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Pegeen Hanrahan, Former Mayor, City of Gainesville
9 Florida Public Service Commission Mark Futrell, Deputy Executive Director – Technical
10 Enterprise Florida Tim Vanderhoof, Senior Vice President of Business Development
11 Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation Chris Lee, Field Office Manager – North Florida
12 CareerSource Florida Diane Head, Executive Director of CareerSource North Florida
13 Volunteer Florida Audrey Kidwell, Volunteer Generation Fund Program Manager
  Water Management Districts  Member Name/Title
14 Northwest Florida WMD Lyle Seigler, Regulatory Division Director
15 Suwannee River WMD Steve Minnis, Deputy Executive Director
16 Southwest Florida WMD Michelle Hopkins, Regulation Division Director
  Metropolitan Planning Organizations  Member Name/Title
17 Hernando/Citrus MPO The Hon. Jeff Kinnard, Chair
Chair, Citrus County Board of County Commissioners
18 Capital Region TPA The Hon. Kristin Dozier, Board Member
Commissioner, Leon County Board of County Commissioners
  Regional Planning Councils  Member Name/Title
19 Tampa Bay RPC The Hon. Ronald E. Kitchen, Jr., Chair
Commissioner, Citrus County Board of County Commissioners
20 Apalachee RPC Chris Rietow, Executive Director
21 North Central Florida RPC Scott Koons, Executive Director
  Community Individual or Member of a Nonprofit Organization  Member Name/Title
22 Florida Chamber of Commerce Christopher Emmanuel, Director of Infrastructure and Governance Policy
23 Florida Trucking Association Ken Armstrong, President / CEO
24 Florida Rural Water Association Randy Wilkerson, Public Works Director, City of Chiefland
25 Florida Internet & Television Association Chris Bailey, State Government Affairs Director, Charter Communications
26 Florida Economic Development Council Susan Ramsey, CEO, Integrity Professional Services
27 Florida Farm Bureau Federation Charles Shinn, Director of Government & Community Affairs
28 Florida Gateway College Dr. Lawrence Barrett, President
29 North Florida Community College John Grosskopf, President
  Environmental Groups  Member Name/Title
30 1000 Friends of Florida Thomas Hawkins, Former Policy & Planning Director
31 Audubon Florida Charles Lee, Director of Advocacy
32 Defenders of Wildlife Kent Wimmer, Senior Northwest Florida Representative
33 The Nature Conservancy Janet Bowman, Senior Policy Advisor
  Local Government Officials  Member Name/Title
34 Local governments in Citrus County The Hon. Scott Carnahan, 2nd Vice Chairman, Citrus County Board of County Commissioners
35 Local governments in Levy County The Hon. Matt Brooks, Commissioner, Levy County Board of County Commissioners
36 Local governments in Dixie County The Hon. Mark Hatch, Chair, Dixie County Board of County Commissioners
37 Local governments in Taylor County The Hon. Pam Feagle, Chair, Taylor County Board of County Commissioners
38 Local governments in Jefferson County The Hon. Betsy Barfield, Chair, Jefferson County Board of County Commissioners
39 Local governments in Gilchrist County The Hon. Todd Gray, Chair, Gilchrist County Board of County Commissioners
40 Local governments in Lafayette County The Hon. Anthony Adams, Chair, Lafayette County Board of County Commissioners
41 Local governments in Madison County Brian Kauffman, P.E., County Coordinator, Madison County

The Suncoast Connector Task Force has recently published a draft Avoidance Map which is a first step to narrowing the focus of the study corridor.

Suncoast Connector Task Force Schedule
2020