HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. — An announcement today by the Department of Transportation will send millions of dollars to the Tampa Bay area to support new supply-chain infrastructure, speeding the shipping of goods and adding capacity.

In one project, President Biden’s Infrastructure bill will send $15 million into Hillsborough County for construction of a new 40-acre truck parking area along I-4 between Plant City and Orlando.

What You Need To Know

  • Infrastructure bill to send millions to projects in Bay area 

  • $15 million to go towards 40-acre semi truck parking facility on I-4

  • Also, $11 million awarded to Port Manatee

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said safe and easy to find places for over-the-road truck drivers to park not only hardens the supply chain, but can also increase the speed in delivery of goods and supplies.

“We've got to do something about trucking parking.  It’s an issue that comes up again and again when I talk to truck drivers,” Secretary Buttigieg said.   “They are driving long distances and often unable to find a safe place to park.  That's not just an issue of convenience, it's an issue of safety."

The Florida Trucking Association says often times, drivers that can’t find rest area parking have to pull off on interstate shoulders and ramps, or worse, in parking lots of box stores.

All options that pose safety risks for drivers.

President and CEO of the Florida Trucking Association Alix Miller also says the average truck driver spends 55 minutes per day looking for a safe place to park.

That one hour cuts in to the 14 hours on duty in total that a driver can legal be on the road per day.

“We need more,” said Miller.  “We need more drivers.  We need more trucks.  We need more parking spots.  This is a huge industry, particularly in Florida due to our tourists and the residents that are moving here in droves.  So we are just going to see more and more of a need for the trucking industry."

In addition to the $15 million truck parking area along I-4, more than $11 million has been awarded to Port Manatee.

That grant will help fund a new 16-acre container lot and upgrade existing equipment.

The grant at Port Manatee is expected to increase capacity of the port to move goods and supplies.