Florida Gov. Rick Scott announced Friday that he will not make a decision about moving forward with the $1.2 billion SunRail project until July despite the fact that the project had been approved by the Legislature.
SunRail is a long-planned commuter rail project in central Florida designed to ease crippling traffic congestion largely caused by mega-theme parks and other major entertainment venues in the Orlando area.
Work was supposed to begin in January but Scott placed the necessary contracts under review when he took office. Some contracts are now close to expiring.
Scott ordered the state Department of Transportation to sign some contracts on Friday after adding language designed to lock in prices and allow him to delay making a final decision until July.
“This action was taken to give me additional time for a review of the costs and public concerns about this project,” Scott said. “During the months ahead, I will complete a thorough review of the financial impact this project could have on Florida’s taxpayers.”
SunRail supporters fear Scott will kill the project the same way he rejected $2.4 billion of federal funds that would have provided nearly complete financing for a high-speed rail project between Tampa and Orlando. The fast-rail project had also been approved by the Legislature.