Funding for improvements to the interchange of Interstate 75 and University Parkway likely has been scrapped from the state's budget.
A Florida Legislature conference committee today deleted a recommendation to move $100 million from general revenue to a transportation trust fund. Officials from the Florida Department of Transportation had planned to use some of the money to fund a double diverging diamond design at University and I-75.
FDOT officials worked with local officials on plans to expedite the $60 million project.
"This was something that was truly necessary and needed in east Manatee," Manatee County District 5 Commissioner Vanessah Baugh said. "For us to be in this situation with the mall getting ready to open and the world rowing championships coming and FDOT willing to take care (of this project) for us — for this to not be in thier budget is just unthinkable."
The state's budget is not final until next week.
District 73 Rep. Greg Steube said he believes the project still will be completed as quickly as possible and that FDOT officials will work hard to find alternative funding sources.
Contact Pam Eubanks at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*This story was updated at 6:26 p.m. April 22.