Suncoast task force in Perry

The Suncoast Connector Task Force met in December at the Florida IFAS Auditorium in Perry. The group meets Tuesday in Madison.

Task forces related to Suncoast Parkway projects continue their work this week with meetings in Madison and Levy counties.

M-CORES — Multi-use Corridors of Regional Economic Significance — is comprised of three task forces designed to start the process of building three toll roads by 2030.

Two of the three are related to the Suncoast Parkway: The Suncoast Connector is to extend the parkway from Citrus County to Jefferson County on the Georgia border. The Northern Turnpike Connector task force is looking to extend the turnpike from Wildwood to a point unknown on the parkway.

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Jeff Kinnard

Citrus County Commissioners Scott Carnahan, Jeff Kinnard and Ron Kitchen Jr. are members of both task forces. Other members include representatives from all counties in the study area.

The meetings are the first since Florida Department of Transportation Secretary Kevin Thibault told a group of Citrus County business and political leaders that a study on extending the parkway north of central Citrus is on hold to allow the task forces to complete their work.

Also, Senate President Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, who made the toll roads his top priority last year, told a Chronicle reporter in January that the legislation creating M-CORES does not include a “no build” option.

Galvano said the task force’s job is to assist FDOT in finding potential corridors for the toll roads, not to tell FDOT whether to build the road or not.

The Suncoast Connector Task Force meets at 10 a.m. Tuesday at the Madison Church of God Life Center 771 NE Colin Kelly Highway, Madison.

The Northern Turnpike Connector Task Force meets at 10 a.m. Wednesday at the Suwannee River Fair Pavilion 17851 NW 90th Ave., Fanning Springs.

Agendas and documents are available on the project website, www.floridamcores.com.

Contact Chronicle reporter Mike Wright at 352-563-3228 or mwright@chronicleonline.com.