Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) just announced that he is putting $4 million into an infrastructure project for Marion County.
The announcement was made by DeSantis on Friday.
The new infrastructure project will look to make an improvement to Interstate 75.
Florida's Department of Transportation also published a press release on the project, providing some more details about it.
"Today, Governor Ron DeSantis awarded $4 million to the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) through the Florida Job Growth Grant Fund to add a new interchange at I-75 and Northwest 49th Street in Marion County," the press release states.
These funds will create new opportunities for the Ocala area by building infrastructure needed to support a new Buc-ee’s location, reducing traffic congestion at other Ocala area I-75 interchanges, and expanding access to I-75 for two industrial and commercial development complexes and the nearby World Equestrian Center.
The third Buc-ee's convenience store and gas station is expected to be 80,000-square-feet and it is expected to have 750 parking spaces and 120 gas pumps. That's sizeable.
According to DeSantis, the Florida Job Growth Grant Fund - which received $50 million for the 2023 fiscal year and is looking to receive $100 million for Fiscal Year 2024 - looks to provide funding for things that can lead to "economic growth." This is exactly what DeSantis and the state of Florida are looking to accomplish with this latest project.
DeSantis says that it "will reduce traffic, support new manufacturing opportunities, pave the way for a new Buc-ee’s right off I-75, and add new jobs."
The FDOT's press release, in fact, states that the "infrastructure project is expected to have and economic impact of $21 million and create 1,500 new jobs."
It also states that "the new interchange will further establish the City of Ocala as a strategic Central Florida hub for freight-related traﬃc."
According to DeSantis, its "Ocala's ideal location at the center of [Florida that] makes it prime for new manufacturing opportunities and for visitors looking for a place to stop and grab some beaver nuggets."
In a statement that he released about the project, DeSantis said, "by making strategic investments like today’s $4 million Job Growth Grant Fund Award, Florida will continue to fuel economic growth across the state."
As for how long it will take to complete the project, the opening of the third Buc-ee's has tentatively been scheduled for that latter part of 2025.