Amid continuing concern about leasing Alligator Alley, an existing toll road, the Florida Department of Transportation last week said it extended the deadline for the receipt of proposals from prospective concessionaires in order receive more public input.

The proposals were due Dec. 15 from six consortiums — A2 Transportation Partners, Alligator Alley Development Partners, Atlantia S.p.A., Everglades Parkway Partners, GVI-Lehman Alligator Alley Access Partners, and Vinci Concessions.

The new deadline for proposals is Jan. 9. FDOT will announce the bids received on Jan. 12. The extended deadline is so the department can hold two additional public workshops “to provide valuable information and seek important input on the project,” FDOT said.

A workshop will beheld Dec. 2 in Naples and another on Dec. 3 in Davie. Both locations are near the ends of Alligator Alley, a 78-mile section of Interstate 75 in South Florida that connects the southwestern and southeastern coastal areas of Florida.

Opponents of leasing the toll road say they fear handing it over to firms with foreign investors. Many of the consortiums do have foreign investors or partners.

Sen. Dave Aronberg, D-Greenacres, has prepared two bills aimed at making changes in Florida’s public-private partnership transportation law. Newly elected Rep. Tom Grady, R-Naples, who was sworn in this week, also has promised to file legislation to stop the lease.

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