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Florida moving ahead with 40 road construction projects during coronavirus pandemic

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Posted at 9:49 AM, May 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-18 11:00:41-04

ORLANDO, Fla. — Florida has fast-tracked dozens of important road construction projects during the coronavirus pandemic to help drivers, Gov. Ron DeSantis says.

Speaking in downtown Orlando on Monday morning, the governor said state officials have taken advantage of less traffic on our roadways and accelerated more than 40 projects across Florida.

That, in turn, has moved the road work ahead of schedule and eliminated more than 650 days of contracted work.

"Many states throughout the country, they stopped all construction," DeSantis said. "I think that was a big mistake. We did not do that in Florida. We kept construction going."

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On Monday, the governor announced the completion of the Interstate 4 and State Road 408 interchange, once of the busiest areas for traffic in Orlando.

DeSantis said that project is one of many across the state, including in South Florida, that are now ahead of schedule thanks to construction taking place while fewer drivers are on our roads.

"These are things that are being moved ahead of schedule and that's gonna benefit folks on their daily commutes," DeSantis said. "These improvements will increase safety, ease the movement of commerce."

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Florida officially entered "full Phase One" of its reopening plan on Monday, meaning gyms and fitness centers across the state can reopen, and restaurants and retail stores can operate at 50% capacity.

Large venues like movie theaters, however, remain closed, and students will continue online distance learning until further notice.

According to the latest numbers from the Florida Department of Health, there are 45,588 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, including 1,973 deaths.

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