TAMPA — A legislative bid to wrest control of the Lee Roy Selmon Crosstown Expressway foundered Tuesday as lawmakers moved toward a budget deal.
In a compromise with their Florida House counterparts Tuesday, Senate leaders sacrificed legislation that would have folded the Tampa-Hillsborough Expressway Authority and its peers in Orlando and Niceville into Florida's Turnpike Enterprise, which manages the state turnpike, Hillsborough County authority officials said. If the legislation remains sidelined, the 14 Hillsborough employees of the agency will keep their jobs.
"It's great; we're glad it's been taken out," said expressway spokeswoman Sue Chrzan. "However, we won't really know until we see the budget on May 3."
Lawmakers and state transportation officials argued the consolidation would save $24 million and position the state to borrow billions more for infrastructure projects. Hillsborough authority officials contended the state would be less efficient at managing the Crosstown Expressway and citizens would lose a local voice in overseeing the toll way.