A local agency that defied opponents by setting new tolls for Miami-Dade County’s busy Dolphin Expressway is caught in the crosshairs of the Florida Legislature.
Two South Florida lawmakers want to reshape the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority, better known as MDX, and require the county commission to sign off on toll hikes.
The Senate version (SB 772) won the approval of the Senate Transportation Committee in a tense 6-4 vote Thursday.
“We’re trying to bring some control to these toll increases,” said Sen. René García, the Hialeah Republican sponsoring the bill along with Republican Rep. Jeanette Nuñez of Miami.
But in seeking more expressway control, the bills filed by García and Nuñez have caused the agency to delay road projects, said MDX’s executive director, Javier Rodriguez. MDX has held off on bidding a Dolphin Expressway road-widening project, and it’s waiting to see the fate of the bill before seeking $560 million in bonds for new projects throughout the county.
On Monday, Rodriguez also informed the state that the agency might not be able to make an annual $25 million payment to Florida for construction on the interchange between the Dolphin and Palmetto if the agency’s bonding was disrupted.
Read more here.