Thank you for all of the Inverness and Citrus residents who came to speak up to protect their communities, lakes, rivers, and rural quality of life from the Northern Turnpike Extension! While the #RoadstoRuin weren’t technically even on the agenda, we still packed the chamber showing the Inverness City Council that we are watching and that we expect decisive action from them in the coming weeks to send a clear message to FDOT and the FL Turnpike Enterprise to reject this toll road proposal. More than 35 people came out adorned with magenta Rural Florida Says No Toll Road Stickers and holding No Build signs while seated in the audience. During the “OPEN TO THE PUBLIC” section of the agenda more than 10 public comments were provided on this topic each asking for the No Build option to be pursued. As impacted stakeholders within the NTE study area, local governments’ formal comments carry incredible weight with FDOT and Inverness can send a crystal clear message at their next Council meeting by passing a No Build resolution.

Again, thank you all who took the time to show up and provide their public comments!

You can read the Chronicle’s coverage of the meeting here


“More pavement is not the answer,” said Dan Hilliard, president of Withlacoochee Aquatic Restoration.

New roads are not needed for economic growth in Citrus County and the county already has four north-bound corridors, he said. If the FDOT is bent on allowing more traffic, the agency can add lanes to existing roads, Hilliard told the council.

Maxine Connor, Sierra Club Florida Citrus County conservation chairwoman, said that a turnpike extension through the county would have a “devastating impact” and there was no evidence that the extension was needed.

Mike McGrath, a Tampa resident who came to speak, said that a council resolution asking that nothing be built “would carry weight.”

McGrath said that extending the toll road is an idea born in Tallahassee rather than local communities and their elected officials.

Many of those who spoke warned that a turnpike extension would not ease traffic, but rather attract more unwanted development and worsen traffic problems.