Five Tucker Paving team members learned a great deal about the future of Florida transportation, received some industry training, renewed and expanded their business acquaintances, and even had a bit of fun when they attended 2016 Florida Transportation Builders’ Association Convention.

The convention was held the first weekend in August at the beautiful Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grand Lakes resort. Representing Tucker Paving were Larry (Chip) Tucker, president; Patrick Braisted, executive vice president; Ray Curtis, from the Pre-Construction team (Public Works); Amanda Dawley, project manager; and Barret Tucker, from the Asphalt Sales team.

Established in 1933 — long before the U.S. Interstate Highway System was created — the Florida Transportation Builders’ Association, Inc. (FTBA), represents itself as “Florida’s voice for the road- and bridge-building industry.”

With Tucker Paving squarely among them, hundreds of industry leaders and businesses across the state are members of the FTBA because they fully understand the role the industry plays in Florida’s economic vitality, in job creation, and in the lives of every Floridian and every visitor to the Sunshine State. According to the FTBA:

• Every dollar invested in the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) work program nets $7 in return.

• More than 28,000 jobs are created for every $1 billion invested by state governments on highway construction and improvements.

• Enhancements to transportation networks are vital to the goals of reducing congestion and making travel safer for Floridians and tourists.

As noted, many of the FTBA convention sessions, presentations, and forums were centered on the topic of Florida’s transportation future. People in road and bridge building want — and need — to know where the industry is heading, what the FDOT and local transportation agencies are planning, and what kind of technologies and other resources they will have to work with.

If you want to get your own glimpse of the future of Florida transportation, click over to YouTube – at — and watch a fascinating animated video about the FDOT’s planned Gateway Expressway project in Pinellas County. In size and engineering, it’s an awesome project, involving the construction of a new four-lane elevated and “statically tolled” expressway connection, and the seven-minute-long video really brings it to life. While the project is not local-local in nature, the completed expressway will be within a 90-minute drive from central Polk County and, we’re sure, used by hundreds and hundreds of Polk residents at some point “down the road.”

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