House Bill 5001, allocating $15 million for work on a coast-to-coast bicycle trail that will cut though Lake and Sumter counties, was among 21 bills signed into law Monday by Gov. Rick Scott.
The project has been a priority for incoming Senate President Andy Gardiner, R-Orlando, especially since Scott vetoed a $50 million allocation for the coast-to-coast trail a year earlier.
The money would be used to start filling in gaps in Central Florida between existing bicycle and pedestrian trials on both of Florida’s coasts. The largest gap remaining is a 30-mile stretch between the end of the Withlacoochee State Trail in northern Pasco County and the beginning of the South Lake Trail in south Lake County.
Closing the gap would take the trail from Pasco County through eastern Hernando County, through Sumter County near Webster, and east through Lake County to Clermont, where the South Lake Trail continues east to Orlando and beyond.
The News Service of Florida contributed material to this report.