Governor Rick Scott Announces Direct Connect Route from I-75 to Southwest Florida International Airport to Open in March

Governor Rick Scott announced today that the direct connect route from I-75 in Lee County to Southwest Florida International Airport will open in March. The Florida Department of Transportation’s (FDOT) $54 million construction job, which finishes later this spring, also builds improvements to the existing entrance to the airport.

Governor Scott said, “The Direct Connect route from I-75 to the Southwest Florida International Airport is great news for Florida families, tourists and businesses. The Direct Connect will make commuting to the airport quicker and easier. Last year the airport saw almost eight million passengers travel through it, including a record breaking 1.15 million travelers in March, and just this week we announced another record breaking year with more than 97 million tourists. The Direct Connect is a great example of the world class infrastructure system we are building in Florida to continue to bring more tourists and businesses to our state.”

With seasonal visitors returning to the region in the spring and both the Boston Red Sox and Minnesota Twins starting spring training games, local roadways are experiencing increasing traffic, particularly near the airport. The new Direct Connect offers an alternative that eases congestion on area roads and takes interstate travelers directly to and from the airport, with no traffic signals. Significant projects like the I-75 – airport direct connect put people to work, support local businesses, and keep our economy moving.

FDOT Secretary Jim Boxold said, “Over the past four years, Florida has seen tremendous job growth. Under Governor Scott’s leadership, our state has added more than 728,000 private sector jobs. We know that continued investments in our transportation infrastructure create jobs and boosts economic development.”

Florida Senate President Andy Gardiner said, “Tourism is vitally important for all of Florida, and that is no more evident than right here in Southwest Florida. Thanks to Governor Scott and Secretary Boxold’s support, this project will help visitors get from the airport to their final destinations in a more efficient and easier way, ensuring that their visit gets off to a great start.”

Senator Jack Latvala said, “The Governor’s commitment to investing in transportation helps families and businesses in Southwest Florida. I am pleased to see the new route from I-75 to the airport open in advance of full project completion. This state funded Direct Connect project is a great improvement to the transportation network for the area.”

Senator Garrett Richter said, “Governor Scott works hard every day to make Florida’s transportation system better. Improvements like the Direct Connect will make it even easier for the millions of visitors we expect each year to be able to visit this beautiful area I’m so thankful to call home.”

Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto said, “Direct Connect demonstrates Governor Scott’s commitment to creating a first-class transportation system in our state. As Southwest Florida International Airport continues to grow, projects like the Direct Connect will be so important for everyone traveling into Fort Myers, to Naples or Charlotte County and anywhere in between.”

Senator Jeff Brandes said, “Governor Scott recognizes that transportation is vital to Florida’s economy, whether it’s getting our tourists to our beautiful beaches or getting goods to our residents. This connection between two of Southwest Florida’s most important transportation assets, Southwest Florida International Airport and I-75, will make our transportation network stronger and will help further improve our already strong economy.”

Rep. Clay Ingram said, “This $54 million investment of state funds is an important improvement we’re proud to have in Southwest Florida, and we appreciate the work of Governor Scott in making this project move forward. This region is growing rapidly and projects like these demonstrate the state is doing all it can so as the state grows, so does the quality of life for our residents and visitors.”

Rep. Patrick Rooney said, “As Florida’s economy continues to grow, projects like the Direct Connect will position our state to better serve both commercial and passenger travel needs. I applaud Governor Scott for his efforts in helping to improve our state’s transportation infrastructure and create opportunities for Floridians.”

Rep. Dane Eagle said, “Governor Scott is making a great commitment toward creating a reliable and efficient transportation system with the I-75 – Southwest Florida International Airport Direct Connect. This project will help put more local people to work, boost our local economy, and make it easier for our visitors to travel. The Direct Connect also will welcome our residents home in style.”

Rep. Ray Rodrigues said, “The Direct Connect will make a difference to drivers using local roads. Traffic can be heavy on Daniels Parkway, Treeline Avenue, Ben Hill Griffin Parkway, and Alico Road with great destinations for shoppers, sports fans, and people headed to their favorite restaurants. The Direct Connect project will make their trips easier, and I thank Governor Scott for making transportation a priority in Southwest Florida.”

Rep. Heather Fitzenhagen said, “I commend Governor Scott for making this transportation project happen. Projects like the Direct Connect will help take Southwest Florida International Airport to the next level of service. It will allow incoming passengers the choice to drive directly to the interstate which offers a great time-saving option.”

Rep. Matt Caldwell said, “Business owners in Southwest Florida understand just what the value of the Direct Connect is. During season, we want visitors to move as easily as they can around the area and enjoy everything we have to offer. Year-round we want the same thing for our full-time residents. Thanks to Governor Scott’s tireless support and smart transportation investments, projects like this one will ease commuter mobility and help sustain the growth in the region.”

For more information about the I-75 – Airport Direct Connect project please see



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