TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Before the Suncoast Parkway opened, a consultant predicted that it would be so full of cars its toll booths would rake in $150 million a year by 2014.
The Tampa Bay Times reports that forecast wasn’t close. Nor were the next two. The consultant eventually settled on a forecast of $38 million a year.
But when 2014 rolled around, the road was so empty it collected a mere $22 million.
Yet the Florida Department of Transportation now wants to spend $256.7 million to extend the Suncoast another 13 miles north through Citrus County. And the projections the DOT is relying on to justify what has been dubbed Suncoast 2 are from the same consultant that got the first phase so wrong.