On this week’s “Florida NewsMakers” program, Secretary Ananth Prasad of the Florida Department of Transportation sits down with Sachs Media Group’s Alia Faraj-Johnson. Their discussion centers on the state’s investment in seaports and its changing transportation infrastructure.
Florida’s 15 public seaports contributed to Florida’s record year for international trade, which generated $149 billion in 2012, and state leaders are pushing to strengthen the state’s role as a hub for global commerce by approving bonds to finance port projects across the state. “The fundamental premise there is to create jobs, create manufacturing,” Prasad tells Faraj-Johnson. “We want to be the trade gateways to America.” Prasad says Florida has largely been able to avoid the pressing national problem of aging infrastructure, but the continued growth of Florida makes infrastructure needs an ongoing issue. “The key philosophy that we follow is making sure that our house is in good order first, before we add on capacity,” he says. Prasad also addresses the impact of declining gas tax revenues and the department’s increasing use of toll roads.
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