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2020 Florida Statutes
Powers and duties of the department.
Powers and duties of the department.
334.044 Powers and duties of the department.—The department shall have the following general powers and duties:
(1) To assume the responsibility for coordinating the planning of a safe, viable, and balanced state transportation system serving all regions of the state, and to assure the compatibility of all components, including multimodal facilities.
(2) To adopt rules pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to implement the provisions of law conferring duties upon it.
(3) To adopt an official seal.
(4) To maintain its headquarters in Tallahassee and its district offices and necessary field offices at such places within the state as it may designate, and to purchase, build, or lease suitable buildings for such uses.
(5) To purchase, lease, or otherwise acquire property and materials, including the purchase of promotional items as part of public information and education campaigns for the promotion of scenic highways, traffic and train safety awareness, alternatives to single-occupant vehicle travel, and commercial motor vehicle safety; to purchase, lease, or otherwise acquire equipment and supplies; and to sell, exchange, or otherwise dispose of any property that is no longer needed by the department.
(6) To acquire, by the exercise of the power of eminent domain as provided by law, all property or property rights, whether public or private, which it may determine are necessary to the performance of its duties and the execution of its powers.
(7) To enter into contracts and agreements.
(8) To sue and be sued as provided by law.
(9) To employ and train staff, and to contract with qualified consultants. For the purposes of chapters 471 and 472, the department shall be considered a firm.
(10)(a) To develop and adopt uniform minimum standards and criteria for the design, construction, maintenance, and operation of public roads pursuant to the provisions of s. 336.045.
(b) The department shall periodically review its construction, design, and maintenance standards to ensure that such standards are cost-effective and consistent with applicable federal regulations and state law.
(c) The department shall work with the Statewide Office for Suicide Prevention in developing a plan to consider the implementation of evidence-based suicide deterrents on all new infrastructure projects.
(d) The department is authorized to adopt rules relating to approval of aggregate and other material sources.
(11) To establish a numbering system for public roads and to functionally classify such roads.
(12) To coordinate the planning of the development of public transportation facilities within the state and the provision of related transportation services as authorized by law.
(13) To plan proposed transportation facilities as part of the State Highway System, and to construct, maintain, and operate such facilities.
(14) To establish, control, and prohibit points of ingress to, and egress from, the State Highway System, the turnpike, and other transportation facilities under the department’s jurisdiction as necessary to ensure the safe, efficient, and effective maintenance and operation of such facilities.
(15) To regulate and prescribe conditions for the transfer of stormwater to the state right-of-way as a result of manmade changes to adjacent properties.
(a) Such regulation shall be through a permitting process designed to ensure the safety and integrity of the Department of Transportation facilities and to prevent an unreasonable burden on lower properties.
(b) The department is specifically authorized to adopt rules which set forth the purpose; necessary definitions; permit exceptions; permit and assurance requirements; permit application procedures; permit forms; general conditions for a drainage permit; provisions for suspension or revocation of a permit; and provisions for department recovery of fines, penalties, and costs incurred due to permittee actions. In order to avoid duplication and overlap with other units of government, the department shall accept a surface water management permit issued by a water management district, the Department of Environmental Protection, a surface water management permit issued by a delegated local government, or a permit issued pursuant to an approved Stormwater Management Plan or Master Drainage Plan; provided issuance is based on requirements equal to or more stringent than those of the department. The department may enter into a permit-delegation agreement with a governmental entity if issuance of a permit is based on requirements that the department finds will ensure the safety and integrity of facilities of the Department of Transportation.
(16)(a) To plan, acquire, lease, construct, maintain, and operate toll facilities; to authorize the issuance and refunding of bonds; and to fix and collect tolls or other charges for travel on any such facilities.
(b) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the department may not enter into a lease-purchase agreement with an expressway authority, regional transportation authority, or other entity. This paragraph does not invalidate a lease-purchase agreement authorized under chapter 348 or chapter 2000-411, Laws of Florida, existing as of July 1, 2013, and does not limit the department’s authority under s. 334.30.
(17) To designate limited access facilities on the State Highway System and turnpike projects; to plan, construct, maintain, and operate service roads in connection with such facilities; and to regulate, reconstruct, or realign any existing public road as a service road.
(18) To establish and maintain bicycle and pedestrian ways.
(19) To encourage and promote the development of multimodal transportation alternatives.
(20) To conduct research studies, and to collect data necessary for the improvement of the state transportation system.
(21) To conduct research and demonstration projects relative to innovative transportation technologies.
(22) To cooperate with and assist local governments in the development of a statewide transportation system and in the development of the individual components of the system.
(23) To cooperate with the transportation department or duly authorized commission or authority of any state in the development and construction of transportation facilities physically connecting facilities of this state with those facilities of any adjoining state.
(24) To identify, obtain, and administer all federal funds available to the department for all transportation purposes.
(25) To do all things necessary to obtain the full benefits of the national Highway Safety Act of 1966, and in so doing, to cooperate with federal and state agencies, public and private agencies, interested organizations, and individuals to effectuate the purposes of that act, and any and all amendments thereto. The Governor shall have the ultimate state responsibility for dealing with the Federal Government in respect to programs and activities initiated pursuant to the national Highway Safety Act of 1966, and any amendments thereto.
(26) To provide for the enhancement of environmental benefits, including air and water quality; to prevent roadside erosion; to conserve the natural roadside growth and scenery; and to provide for the implementation and maintenance of roadside conservation, enhancement, and stabilization programs. At least 1.5 percent of the amount contracted for construction projects shall be allocated by the department on a statewide basis for the purchase of plant materials. Department districts may not expend funds for landscaping in connection with any project that is limited to resurfacing existing lanes unless the expenditure has been approved by the department’s secretary or the secretary’s designee. To the greatest extent practical, at least 50 percent of the funds allocated under this subsection shall be allocated for large plant materials and the remaining funds for other plant materials. Except as prohibited by applicable federal law or regulation, all plant materials shall be purchased from Florida commercial nursery stock in this state on a uniform competitive bid basis. The department shall develop grades and standards for landscaping materials purchased through this process. To accomplish these activities, the department may contract with nonprofit organizations having the primary purpose of developing youth employment opportunities.
(27) To conduct studies and provide coordination to assess the needs associated with landside ingress and egress to port facilities, and to coordinate with local governmental entities to ensure that port facility access routes are properly integrated with other transportation facilities.
(28) To require persons to affirm the truth of statements made in any application for a license, permit, or certification issued by the department or in any contract documents submitted to the department.
(29) To advance funds for projects in the department’s adopted work program to governmental entities prior to commencement of the project or project phase when the advance has been authorized by the department’s comptroller and is made pursuant to a written agreement between the department and a governmental entity.
(30) To take any other action necessary to carry out the powers and duties expressly granted in this code.
(31) To provide oversight of traveler information systems that may include the provision of interactive voice response telephone systems accessible via the 511 number as assigned by the Federal Communications Commission for traveler information services. The department shall ensure that uniform standards and criteria for the collection and dissemination of traveler information are applied using interactive voice response systems.
(32) To enter into agreement with Space Florida to coordinate and cooperate in the development of spaceport infrastructure and related transportation facilities contained in the Strategic Intermodal System Plan and, where appropriate, encourage the cooperation and integration of airports and spaceports in order to meet transportation-related needs.
(33) To develop, in coordination with its partners and stakeholders, a Freight Mobility and Trade Plan to assist in making freight mobility investments that contribute to the economic growth of the state. Such plan should enhance the integration and connectivity of the transportation system across and between transportation modes throughout the state. The department shall deliver the Freight Mobility and Trade Plan to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives by July 1, 2013.
(a) The Freight Mobility and Trade Plan shall include, but need not be limited to, proposed policies and investments that promote the following:
1. Increasing the flow of domestic and international trade through the state’s seaports and airports, including specific policies and investments that will recapture cargo currently shipped through seaports and airports located outside the state.
2. Increasing the development of intermodal logistic centers in the state, including specific strategies, policies, and investments that capitalize on the empty backhaul trucking and rail market in the state.
3. Increasing the development of manufacturing industries in the state, including specific policies and investments in transportation facilities that will promote the successful development and expansion of manufacturing facilities.
4. Increasing the implementation of compressed natural gas (CNG), liquefied natural gas (LNG), and propane energy policies that reduce transportation costs for businesses and residents located in the state.
(b) Freight issues and needs shall also be given emphasis in all appropriate transportation plans, including the Florida Transportation Plan and the Strategic Intermodal System Plan.
(34) To assume the responsibilities of the United States Department of Transportation with respect to highway projects within the state under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, 42 U.S.C. ss. 4321 et seq., and with respect to related responsibilities for environmental review, consultation, or other action required under any federal environmental law pertaining to review or approval of a highway project within the state. The department may assume responsibilities under 23 U.S.C. s. 327 and enter into one or more agreements, including memoranda of understanding, with the United States Secretary of Transportation related to the federal surface transportation project delivery program for the delivery of highway projects, as provided by 23 U.S.C. s. 327. The department may adopt rules to implement this subsection and may adopt relevant federal environmental standards as the standards for this state for a program described in this subsection. Sovereign immunity from civil suit in federal court is waived consistent with 23 U.S.C. s. 327 and limited to the compliance, discharge, or enforcement of a responsibility assumed by the department under this subsection.
(35) To provide a road and bridge construction workforce development program, in consultation with affected stakeholders, for construction of projects designated in the department’s work program.
(a) The workforce development program is intended to provide direct economic benefits to communities in which the department is constructing infrastructure projects and to promote employment opportunities, including within areas of low income and high unemployment.
(b) The department shall merge any of its own existing workforce services into the program to create a robust workforce development program. The workforce development program must serve as a tool to address the construction labor shortage by recruiting and developing a group of skilled workers for infrastructure projects to increase the likelihood of department projects remaining on time and within budget.
(c) To accomplish these activities, the department may administer workforce development contracts with consultants and nonprofit entities, such as local community partners, Florida College System institutions, and technical institutions or centers. These entities, as specified in a contract with the department, shall have the primary purposes of providing all of the following:
1. Workforce recruitment.
2. A training curriculum for the department’s road and bridge construction projects which includes both traditional and emerging construction methods and skills needed to construct multiuse infrastructure and facilities accommodating emerging technologies.
3. Support services to remove barriers to work.
(d) The department shall develop performance and outcome metrics to ensure accountability and to measure the benefits and cost-effectiveness of the program. By June 30, 2020, and annually thereafter, the department shall prepare and provide a report to the Governor, President of Senate, and Speaker of the House of Representatives detailing the results of its findings and containing any recommendations relating to future program refinements.
History.—s. 11, ch. 84-309; s. 9, ch. 85-180; s. 26, ch. 86-243; s. 2, ch. 88-224; s. 155, ch. 92-152; s. 56, ch. 93-164; s. 15, ch. 96-423; s. 1, ch. 98-105; ss. 69, 232, 233, ch. 98-200; s. 1, ch. 99-250; s. 6, ch. 2000-266; s. 3, ch. 2002-13; s. 8, ch. 2002-20; s. 39, ch. 2003-286; s. 65, ch. 2006-60; s. 27, ch. 2007-259; s. 1, ch. 2009-89; s. 64, ch. 2010-5; s. 28, ch. 2011-66; s. 23, ch. 2012-174; s. 6, ch. 2014-223; s. 10, ch. 2016-181; s. 2, ch. 2019-43; s. 3, ch. 2020-39.