Gov. Rick Scott on Wednesday will announce $194 million in improvements to Tampa International Airport, with the money earmarked for a new rental car center, transit stop and people mover to accommodate future growth at one of America's busiest airports.
The project, called the Tampa Gateway Center, will feature a 1.3 mile long automated people mover linking the airport's economy parking garage and rental car center to the main terminal. The airport is investing another $749 million in the project, Scott's office said.
The event at TIA gives Scott another opportunity to promote his budget recommendations to the Florida Legislature, which include $8.8 billion in transportation, the highest ever for the state Department of Transportation.
Scott's $74.2 billion proposed budget includes $18.7 million to start construction after July 1, with the remaining $175.3 million for future construction to be included in the DOT's five-year work program. Construction is expected to begin later this year and be completed by 2017. The governor's office says the project will create about 7,100 jobs.
This is the third time in recent weeks that Scott has promoted transportation improvements that will direct affect residents and travelers to Tampa or St. Petersburg. Two previous events focused on highway projects in Pinellas. Scott rejected billions of dollars in federal money for a high speed rail system linking Tampa, Orlando and Miami soon after he took office in 2011.