Florida Department of Transportation

Florida Department of Transportation

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The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is a decentralized agency charged with the establishment, maintenance, and regulation of public transportation in the state of Florida
Florida
Florida is a state in the southeastern United States, located on the nation's Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 18,801,310 as measured by the 2010 census, it...

. The department was formed in 1969. It absorbed the powers of the Florida State Road Department (SRD). The current Secretary of Transportation is Ananth Prasad.

Structure


The Florida Transportation Commission, made up of nine commissioners chosen by Florida's Governor and Legislature
Florida Legislature
The Florida State Legislature is the term often used to refer to the two houses that act as the state legislature of the U.S. state of Florida. The Florida Constitution states that "The legislative power of the state shall be vested in a legislature of the State of Florida," composed of a Senate...

, provides oversight for FDOT.

Each of FDOT's eight semi-autonomous districts is managed by a District Secretary. Following the 2002 legislation, the Turnpike District (now known as Florida's Turnpike Enterprise
Florida's Turnpike Enterprise
Florida's Turnpike Enterprise is a business unit of the Florida Department of Transportation , employing private sector business practices to operate its 460-mile system of limited-access toll highways for the benefit of Florida's traveling public...

, or FTE) secretary became known as an executive director.

There are seven geographic districts plus the FTE. The FTE owns and maintains 460-miles of toll roads. The Department owns four other toll roads and bridges: the Sunshine Skyway Bridge
Sunshine Skyway Bridge
The Bob Graham Sunshine Skyway Bridge is a bridge spanning Tampa Bay, Florida, with a cable-stayed main span, and a total length of 21,877 feet . It is part of I-275 and US 19 , connecting St. Petersburg in Pinellas County and Terra Ceia in Manatee County, Florida, passing through Hillsborough...

, Alligator Alley
Alligator Alley
Alligator Alley is a section of Interstate 75 and State Road 84 extending from Naples on the west coast of Florida to Weston on the east...

, the Beachline East Expressway and the Pinellas Bayway System. Tolls on all Department-owned facilities are collected by Florida's Turnpike Enterprise.

In addition, the FDOT operates and manages several park and ride lots and Commuter Assistance Programs throughout the state. Most of the 7 geographic distircts have a Districtwide Commuter Assistance Program.

On March 5, 2003, Governor Jeb Bush
Jeb Bush
John Ellis "Jeb" Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd Governor of Florida from 1999 to 2007. He is a prominent member of the Bush family: the second son of former President George H. W. Bush and former First Lady Barbara Bush; the younger brother of former President George W...

 appointed José Abreu, P.E., as Secretary of Transportation.

On June 27, 2005, Governor Jeb Bush appointed Denver Stutler, Jr., as Secretary of Transportation. Previously, Stutler was Bush's chief of staff.

On January 2, 2007, Governor Charlie Crist
Charlie Crist
Charles Joseph "Charlie" Crist, Jr. is an American politician who was the 44th Governor of Florida. Prior to his election as governor, Crist previously served as Florida State Senator, Education Commissioner, and Attorney General...

 appointed Stephanie Kopelousos as Interim Secretary of Transportation, she was confirmed as Secretary on April 2, 2007. Previously, Kopelousos served as FDOT's Federal Programs Coordinator.

On April 18, 2011, Governor Rick Scott appointed Anath Prasad as Secretary of Transportation.

Districts



Florida has seven transportation districts:
District Name Headquarters Counties
Southwest Florida (District 1) Bartow
Bartow, Florida
Bartow is the county seat of Polk County, Florida, United States. Founded in 1851 as Fort Blount, the city was renamed in honor of Francis S. Bartow the first brigade commander to die in combat during the American Civil War. According to the U.S. Census Bureau 2000 Census, the city had a...

 
Charlotte, Collier, De Soto, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Lee, Manatee, Okeechobee, Polk, and Sarasota
Northeast Florida (District 2) Lake City
Lake City, Florida
Lake City is the county seat of Columbia County, Florida, in the United States. In 2009, the U.S. Census Bureau estimated the city's population at 12,614. In addition, it is the Principal City of the Lake City Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is composed of Columbia County, and had an...

 
Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Clay, Columbia, Dixie, Duval, Gilchrist, Hamilton, Lafayette, Levy, Madison, Nassau, Putnam, St. Johns, Suwannee, Taylor, and Union
Northwest Florida (District 3) Chipley
Chipley, Florida
Chipley is a city in Washington County, Florida, United States. Its population was 3,592 at the time of the 2000 U.S. Census. According to the United States Census Bureau estimates of 2005, the city had a population of about 3,682...

 
Bay, Calhoun, Escambia, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, Wakulla, Walton, and Washington
Southeast Florida (District 4) Fort Lauderdale
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Fort Lauderdale is a city in the U.S. state of Florida, on the Atlantic coast. It is the county seat of Broward County. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 165,521. It is a principal city of the South Florida metropolitan area, which was home to 5,564,635 people at the 2010...

 
Broward, Indian River, Martin, Palm Beach, and St. Lucie
Central Florida (District 5) DeLand
DeLand, Florida
DeLand is the county seat of Volusia County, Florida. In 2006, the U.S. Census Bureau estimated the city's population to be 24,375. It is part of the Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area, which had an estimated population of 436,575 in 2006...

 
Brevard, Flagler, Lake, Marion, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Sumter, Volusia
South Florida (District 6) Miami  Miami-Dade and Monroe
West Central Florida (District 7) Tampa
Tampa, Florida
Tampa is a city in the U.S. state of Florida. It serves as the county seat for Hillsborough County. Tampa is located on the west coast of Florida. The population of Tampa in 2010 was 335,709....

 
Citrus, Hernando, Hillsborough, Pasco, and Pinellas

Office of Motor Carrier Compliance (MCCO)


Otherwise known as Florida’s commercial vehicle enforcement agency, headed by its director, Colonel David Dees, MCCO mainly comprises sworn law enforcement officers and civilian weight inspectors. Similar to state troopers, MCCO officers are certified (e.g. police academy trained), armed and have full statewide law enforcement authority including powers of arrest. Primary duties include but are not limited to:
  • Issuing traffic citations pursuant to state motor vehicle laws
  • Reviewing operator logbooks and inspecting their vehicles to ensure they are in compliance with FDOT and US DOT regulations
  • Verifying operator possesses valid CDL and hazardous materials permit (if applicable)
  • Providing supplemental support to local law enforcement agencies during emergency situations


Although their primary focus is on commercial vehicles, MCCO officers can (and will) stop non-commercial drivers when serious infractions are observed.

The Office of Motor Carrier Compliance officially transitioned from the Florida Department of Transportation to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles’ Division of the Florida Highway Patrol on July 1, 2011. The consolidation is a result of Senate Bill 2160, passed by lawmakers during the 2011 Legislative Session, and places the commercial vehicle licensing, registrations, fuel permits, and enforcement all under the purview of DHSMV.

Motor Carrier Compliance officers will be “troopers”. Motor Carrier Compliance troopers’ uniforms will include the FHP patch beginning July 1. MCC troopers also will wear a Florida Highway Patrol badge. They will continue to perform commercial vehicle safety inspections and to weigh commercial vehicles with portable scales at various locations around the state, in addition to FDOT weigh stations on Florida’s highways. Motor Carrier Compliance vehicles will replace the FDOT seal with the FHP seal on door panels. The vehicles will bear the FHP license plates, too. Through attrition, motorists will eventually see more FHP black and tan vehicles patrolling Florida roadways.

Ranks

  • Colonel
    Colonel
    Colonel , abbreviated Col or COL, is a military rank of a senior commissioned officer. It or a corresponding rank exists in most armies and in many air forces; the naval equivalent rank is generally "Captain". It is also used in some police forces and other paramilitary rank structures...

     - Director of the Office of Motor Carrier Compliance (symbol of rank: gold eagle)
  • Lieutenant Colonel
    Lieutenant colonel
    Lieutenant colonel is a rank of commissioned officer in the armies and most marine forces and some air forces of the world, typically ranking above a major and below a colonel. The rank of lieutenant colonel is often shortened to simply "colonel" in conversation and in unofficial correspondence...

     (symbol of rank: silver oak leaf)
  • Major
    Major
    Major is a rank of commissioned officer, with corresponding ranks existing in almost every military in the world.When used unhyphenated, in conjunction with no other indicator of rank, the term refers to the rank just senior to that of an Army captain and just below the rank of lieutenant colonel. ...

    /Chief
    Chief of police
    A Chief of Police is the title typically given to the top official in the chain of command of a police department, particularly in North America. Alternate titles for this position include Commissioner, Superintendent, and Chief constable...

     (symbol of rank: gold oak leaf)
  • Captain (symbol of rank: 2 gold bars)
  • Lieutenant
    Lieutenant
    A lieutenant is a junior commissioned officer in many nations' armed forces. Typically, the rank of lieutenant in naval usage, while still a junior officer rank, is senior to the army rank...

     (symbol of rank: 1 gold bar)
  • Sergeant
    Sergeant
    Sergeant is a rank used in some form by most militaries, police forces, and other uniformed organizations around the world. Its origins are the Latin serviens, "one who serves", through the French term Sergent....

     (symbol of rank: 3 chevrons)
  • Field Training Officer
    Field Training Officer
    A Field Training Officer is an experienced or senior member of an organization who is responsible for the training and evaluation of a junior or probationary level member...

     (FTO) (symbol of rank: 1 chevron)
  • Officer

Communications


MCCO Officers communicate using the M/A-Com State Law Enforcement Radio System. This allows them to communicate with communication centers and other state officers on the same channel. In order to distinguish themselves from other state agencies, MCCO Officers use the unit designator DELTA and then their assigned ID number.

History


In 1954, the State Road Department completed the original Sunshine Skyway Bridge
Sunshine Skyway Bridge
The Bob Graham Sunshine Skyway Bridge is a bridge spanning Tampa Bay, Florida, with a cable-stayed main span, and a total length of 21,877 feet . It is part of I-275 and US 19 , connecting St. Petersburg in Pinellas County and Terra Ceia in Manatee County, Florida, passing through Hillsborough...

, the first fixed span to connect Saint Petersburg directly to Bradenton
Bradenton, Florida
Bradenton is a city in Manatee County, Florida, United States. The U.S. Census Bureau estimated the city's 2007 population to be 53,471. Bradenton is the largest Principal City of the Bradenton-Sarasota-Venice, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area, which had a 2007 estimated population of 682,833...

. This shortened the travel time between the two cities greatly, as before cars would have to either use a ferry
Ferry
A ferry is a form of transportation, usually a boat, but sometimes a ship, used to carry primarily passengers, and sometimes vehicles and cargo as well, across a body of water. Most ferries operate on regular, frequent, return services...

 or drive about 100 miles around Tampa Bay
Tampa Bay
Tampa Bay is a large natural harbor and estuary along the Gulf of Mexico on the west central coast of Florida, comprising Hillsborough Bay, Old Tampa Bay, Middle Tampa Bay, and Lower Tampa Bay."Tampa Bay" is not the name of any municipality...

. A parallel span was completed in 1971 to make the bridge Interstate standard, and it became part of I-275
Interstate 275 (Florida)
Interstate 275 in Florida serves the Tampa Bay metropolitan area, measuring 60.696 miles in length. The southern terminus is I-75 near Palmetto, just five miles east of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, a toll bridge crossing Tampa Bay. The highway passes through St...

. After the southbound (newer) span was destroyed in 1980 when the SS Summit Venture
SS Summit Venture
The M/V Summit Venture is a bulk carrier built in 1976, in Nagasaki, Japan. She is 579.8 feet long, beam of 85.5 feet, and displacement of 19,734 tons. She would cruise at 13.5 knots at 100% power and 10.9 knots at 50% power.-1980 incident:...

 collided with it, a replacement bridge was finished in 1987.

In 1974, FDOT completed Florida's Turnpike
Florida's Turnpike
Florida's Turnpike , designated as the Ronald Reagan Turnpike, and originally known as the Sunshine State Parkway is a north–south toll road that runs through 11 counties in the Florida peninsula, from U.S...

, a 309-mile limited access toll highway that connected the panhandle
Florida Panhandle
The Florida Panhandle, an informal, unofficial term for the northwestern part of Florida, is a strip of land roughly 200 miles long and 50 to 100 miles wide , lying between Alabama on the north and the west, Georgia also on the north, and the Gulf of Mexico to the south. Its eastern boundary is...

 area through Orlando
Orlando, Florida
Orlando is a city in the central region of the U.S. state of Florida. It is the county seat of Orange County, and the center of the Greater Orlando metropolitan area. According to the 2010 US Census, the city had a population of 238,300, making Orlando the 79th largest city in the United States...

 to Miami
Miami, Florida
Miami is a city located on the Atlantic coast in southeastern Florida and the county seat of Miami-Dade County, the most populous county in Florida and the eighth-most populous county in the United States with a population of 2,500,625...

. The turnpike is part of an initiative to finance transportation with user fees.

In recent years, FDOT has had much experience in emergency repairs, including a sinkhole that destroyed most of westbound I-4 in Lake Mary
Lake Mary, Florida
Lake Mary is a city in Seminole County, Florida, United States. The population was 11,456 at the 2000 census. As of 2009, the population recorded by the U.S. Census Bureau is 15,230...

 in 2001, a tanker truck fire that critically damaged a ramp from SR 528 to I-4 in Orlando in 2002, and a car accident that destroyed an I-75 overpass near Gainesville
Gainesville, Florida
Gainesville is the largest city in, and the county seat of, Alachua County, Florida, United States as well as the principal city of the Gainesville, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area . The preliminary 2010 Census population count for Gainesville is 124,354. Gainesville is home to the sixth...

 in 2003. In 2004, FDOT reopened the I-10
Interstate 10 in Florida
The of Interstate 10 in Florida is the eastern most section of the east–west Interstate 10 in the Southern United States. It is also the eastern end of the Interstate Highway known as the Christopher Columbus Transcontinental Highway, one of three coast to coast interstates, along with I-80...

 Escambia bridge 17 days after Hurricane Ivan
Hurricane Ivan
Hurricane Ivan was a large, long-lived, Cape Verde-type hurricane that caused widespread damage in the Caribbean and United States. The cyclone was the ninth named storm, the sixth hurricane and the fourth major hurricane of the active 2004 Atlantic hurricane season...

 ripped it apart.

In 2011, as a result of Governor Rick Scott's executive order, the department required that all workers be verified as U.S. citizens with e-verify
E-Verify
E-Verify is an Internet-based, free program run by the United States government that compares information from an employee's Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9 to data from U.S. government records. If the information matches, that employee is eligible to work in the United States...

. This applied to contracts and funds otherwise under the jurisdiction of local government.

See also

  • Florida State Roads
    State Roads in Florida
    Roads maintained by the Florida Department of Transportation or a toll authority are referred to officially as State Roads, abbreviated SR. State Roads are always numbered; in general, the numbers follow a grid. Odd numbered roads run north-south, and even numbered roads run east-west...

  • Bridge Software Institute at the University of Florida
    Bridge Software Institute
    The Bridge Software Institute is headquartered at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida. It was established in January 2000 to oversee the development of bridge related software products at UF...


External links