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Parkway extension possible

Florida's Turnpike Enterprise has earmarked $182.9-million from 2008 to 2012 for possible development of a Suncoast Parkway extension through Citrus County.

The figures are included in the group's tentative five-year work program, which the County Commission will review next week.

The money would go toward engineering and buying land for the highway, which would stretch from U.S. 98 (its current northern terminus) to U.S. 19 in Red Level.

No money has been earmarked for construction. In fact, the state still hasn't decided whether it will build the 27-mile, $879-million road.

It won't do so without the County Commission's blessing. Sometime next year, at the commission's request, turnpike officials will present updated findings about environmental concerns, projected traffic counts and funding.

If the commission signals its support at that point, the project would speed forward, with construction scheduled to begin as soon as 2013.

Last year, the state earmarked $163.9-million for the project.

The current breakdown:

-2008: $27.2-million for engineering and $73.7 million for right-of-way.

-2009: $81-million for right-of-way.

-2010 and 2011: nothing.

-2012: $1-million for environmental mitigation.

Turnpike Enterprise is a division of the state Department of Transportation.

The DOT also has released its five-year work plan. The commission also will review that plan next week.

The biggest item: $44-million for a new U.S. 19 bridge over the Cross Florida Barge Canal.

The state plans to spend $36.8-million next year on designing and building the bridge and $7.2-million for land.

Also in the tentative work plan:

-$1.6-million for engineering in 2010 for the eventual widening of State Road 200 from U.S. 41 to Millwood Lane.

-More than $12-million to resurface SR 200 from U.S. 41 to the Marion County line. Preliminary engineering will be done next year, with the work coming in 2009.

-Money for resurfacing U.S. 41 from SR 200 to the Marion County line. About $2.2 million will be spent on engineering in 2007 and then $13.6-million on the road work in 2009.

-More than $13-million to buy land for the eventual widening of U.S. 19 from Green Acres Street in Homosassa to Fort Island Trail in Crystal River. The money is scheduled to be spent from 2007 to 2011. Construction money hasn't been set aside yet.

-More than $4-million to resurface U.S. 19 from Fort Island Trail to NE Second Street in 2009.

-About $13.5-million for engineering (2007) and construction (2009) for the resurfacing of U.S. 19 from the Crystal River Mall to Cornflower Drive.

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Topic: road plans

The County Commission is scheduled to discuss the tentative five-year work plans from the state Department of Transportation and Florida's Turnpike Enterprise at 2 p.m. Tuesday during the commission's regularly scheduled meeting. The meeting will be at the Citrus County Courthouse, 110 N Apopka Ave., Inverness.

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