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Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT)
FDOT.svg
Official Seal
Agency overview
Formed 1969
Preceding agencies State Road Department (SRD)
Florida State Turnpike Authority
Jurisdiction State of Florida
Headquarters Tallahassee, Florida
Agency executive Stephanie C. Kopelousos, Secretary of Transportation
Website
http://www.dot.state.fl.us

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is a decentralized agency charged with the establishment, maintenance, and regulation of public transportation in the state of Florida[1]. The department was formed in 1969. It absorbed the powers of the State Road Department (SRD) and the Florida State Turnpike Authority which became a district within the new FDOT. The current Secretary of Transportation is Stephanie C. Kopelousos.

Contents

Structure

Each of FDOT's eight semi-autonomous districts is managed by a District Secretary. Following the 2002 legislation, the Turnpike (District 8) secretary became known as an executive director.

There are seven geographic districts, and the Florida's Turnpike Enterprise (FTE). The FTE owns and maintains 460-miles of toll roads, excluding the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, Alligator Alley, Orlando-Orange County Expressway Authority, and the Pinellas Bayway System, which are owned and managed by the local FDOT districts. Tolls on those facilities, however, are collected by the FTE. The Florida Transportation Commission, made up of nine commissioners chosen by Florida's Governor and Legislature, provides oversight for FDOT[2].

On March 5, 2003, Governor Jeb Bush appointed José Abreu, P.E., as Secretary of Transportation[3].

On June 27, 2005, Governor Jeb Bush appointed Denver Stutler, Jr., as Secretary of Transportation[4]. Previously, Stutler was Bush's chief of staff.

On January 2, 2007, Governor Charlie Crist appointed Stephanie Kopelousos as Interim Secretary of Transportation, she was confirmed as Secretary on April 2, 2007[5]. Previously, Kopelousos served as the FDOT Federal Programs Coordinator.

Office of Motor Carrier Compliance (MCCO)

MCCO Shoulder Patch
FDOT MCCO Officer speaking with CMV Driver

Otherwise known as Florida’s commercial vehicle enforcement agency, headed by its director, Colonel David Dees, MCCO mainly comprises sworn law enforcement officers and civilian weight inspectors. Similar to state troopers, MCCO officers are certified (e.g. police academy trained), armed and have full statewide law enforcement authority including powers of arrest. Primary duties include but are not limited to:

  • Issuing traffic citations pursuant to state motor vehicle laws
  • Reviewing operator logbooks and inspecting their vehicles to ensure they are in compliance with FDOT and US DOT regulations
  • Verifying operator possesses valid CDL and hazardous materials permit (if applicable)
  • Providing supplemental support to local law enforcement agencies during emergency situations

Although their primary focus is on commercial vehicles, MCCO officers can (and will) stop non-commercial drivers when serious infractions are observed.

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Ranks

Communications

MCCO Officers communicate using the M/A-Com State Law Enforcement Radio System. This allows them to communicate with communication centers and other state officers on the same channel. In order to distinguish themselves from other state agencies, MCCO Officers use the unit designator DELTA and then their assigned ID number.

Achievements

In 1954, the State Road Department completed the original Sunshine Skyway Bridge, the first fixed span to connect Saint Petersburg directly to Bradenton. This shortened the travel time between the two cities greatly, as before cars would have to either use a ferry or drive about 100 miles around Tampa Bay. A parallel span was completed in 1971 to make the bridge Interstate standard, and it became part of I-275. After the southbound (newer) span was destroyed in 1980 when the SS Summit Venture collided with it, a replacement bridge was finished in 1987.

In 1974, FDOT completed Florida's Turnpike, a 309-mile limited access toll highway that connected the panhandle area through Orlando to Miami. The turnpike is part of an initiative to finance transportation with user fees[6].

In 2004, FDOT reopened the I-10 Escambia bridge 17 days after Hurricane Ivan ripped it apart [7]. In recent years, FDOT has had much experience in emergency repairs, including a sinkhole that destroyed most of westbound I-4 in Lake Mary in 2001, a tanker truck fire that critically damaged a ramp from SR 528 to I-4 in Orlando in 2002, and a car accident that destroyed an I-75 overpass near Gainesville in 2003.

See also

References

  1. ^  "Florida Statutes 334.044, Department; Powers and Duties, Public Transportation, Transportation Administration.". http://www.flsenate.gov/Statutes/. Retrieved November 2, 2005.  
  2. ^  "Florida's Turnpike: The Less Stressway". http://www.dot.state.fl.us/turnpikepio/NewWebPages/about.html. Retrieved November 2, 2005.  
  3. ^  "Sept./Oct.2004 T-News Viewpoint, Secretary José Abreu." (PDF). http://www.dot.state.fl.us/viewpoint/viewpointseptemberoct04.pdf. Retrieved November 2, 2005.  
  4. ^  "About the Commission, Florida Transportation Commission.". http://www.ftc.state.fl.us/about_the_commission.htm. Retrieved November 2, 2005.  
  5. ^  "Florida Department of Transportation". http://www.dot.state.fl.us/publicinformationoffice/moreDOT/mission.htm. Retrieved November 2, 2005.  
  6. ^  "Florida Department of Transportation". http://www.dot.state.fl.us/publicinformationoffice/moreDOT/mission.htm. Retrieved December 14, 2005.  
  7. ^  "Associated Press story via the Bradenton Herald". http://www.bradenton.com/mld/bradenton/16368186.htm. Retrieved February 11, 2007.  
  8. ^  "Fox 30's Story on Road Ranger Cuts". http://www.fox30online.com/content/topstories/story.aspx?content_id=20e5e01c-fec6-48ab-a5b9-c32979514258. Retrieved April 15, 2008.  
  9. ^ Grimes, David; Becnel, Tom (2006). "Dealing with People Who Cross the Line" (Google books). Florida Curiosities: Quirky Characters, Roadside Oddities & Other Offbeat Stuff (Second ed.). Globe Pequot. pp. 52–54. ISBN 9780762741069. http://books.google.com/books?id=feIk1skAQxIC. Retrieved 2009-01-25. "The offer of free orange or grapefruit juice, maps, and information draws 2.5 million visitors a year to the state's five welcome centers."  

Notes

External links


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