U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, D-Fla., weighed in last week on the inclusion of $25 million dollars he secured for Pinellas County in the proposed INVEST in America Act under Member Designated Projects.
The U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee received more than 2,000 Member Designated Project Requests, and all four of Crist’s requested projects were approved for full funding, totaling nearly $25 million for Pinellas. Specifically, Crist advocated for:
- $6 million for solar panels and electric charging infrastructure for Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority’s growing fleet of all-electric buses;
- $4.48 million for preservation, maintenance, and renovations to the Treasure Island Causeway Bridge;
- $8 million for renovation and expansion of the Dunedin Causeway; and
- $6 million for the construction of a trail overpass along the Duke Energy Trail at SR60.
“I’m thrilled that the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee included my funding requests for critical infrastructure investments in our community,” said Crist on Thursday. “Our work is far from over, but thanks to the partnership and hard work of Pinellas leaders, we are one step closer to safer and more accessible bridges, roads, trails, and green transit for our communities.”
The INVEST in America Act was approved by the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee last week.
The Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority Solar Panel project includes funding for the design and installation of commercial-scale, roof-mounted solar photovoltaic systems as well as the necessary electrical infrastructure to charge PSTA’s growing fleet of all-electric buses.
The Treasure Island project includes funding for bridge preservation, preventative maintenance, and rehabilitation of the critical Treasure Island Causeway Bridge.
The Dunedin Causeway project includes funding to replace the Main Bridge, connecting the Dunedin Causeway to Ward Island, with a new two-lane, mid-level movable bridge, as well as replacing the Tide Relief Bridge that connects Dunedin Causeway to Honeymoon Island, with a new two-lane, low-level fixed bridge.
The Duke Energy Bike Trail project includes funding to construct a trail overpass at a high-volume, high-risk intersection located at Gulf to Bay Blvd in Clearwater to provide safe passage to pedestrians and cyclists.
Crist is running for the Democratic nomination to take on Gov. Ron DeSantis next year. Crist was elected governor as a Republican back in 2006.