The eventual route for the Suncoast Parkway extension has changed yet again.
The Florida House Commerce Committee announced Tuesday it unanimously approved a bill that says Jefferson County will no longer be the northern end point for a proposed extension of the toll road.
The extension of the Suncoast Parkway from Citrus County to Jefferson County was one of three toll-road projects approved by the Legislature in 2019.
The House bill (HB 6059), sponsored by Rep. Jason Shoaf, R-Port St. Joe, would remove a reference to Jefferson County in the law but doesn’t provide another proposed end point for the Suncoast Parkway extension.
The 2019 law, a priority of then-Senate President Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, also calls for building a toll road from Collier County to Polk County and extending Florida’s Turnpike to connect with the Suncoast Parkway.
Shoaf’s bill is moving forward as the Senate has passed a more far-reaching measure (SB 100) that would eliminate the planned toll road between Collier and Polk counties.
The Senate plan also would require state transportation officials to plan a turnpike extension west from Wildwood to the Suncoast Parkway and lay out a route that would weave the parkway north along U.S. 19 to connect with Interstate 10 in Madison County.
Meanwhile, construction continues on the parkway extension from U.S. 98 to State Road 44 in Lecanto. The next phase would extend it from State Road 44 to County Road 486, somewhere near the Pine Ridge extension.
But commissioners, including Sen. Wilton Simpson, R-Trilby, want the road to connect with U.S. 19, somewhere north of Crystal River.
Where it goes north from that point is up to the state, commissioners have said.
The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.