Governor Scott Announces Gateway, Recognizes Road Ranger

“On Monday, February 17, Governor Rick Scott was in Pinellas County to announce the advancement of the Gateway Express project, a direct connection from I-275 to US 19 and from I-275 to the St. Petersburg/Clearwater Airport and the Bayside Bridge via an elevated tolled expressway. Several local elected officials and members of the press gathered for the announcement in the auditorium of the Pinellas Relators Association office, located right in the heart of the Gateway Express project. Gov. Scott expressed the importance of advancing the project to address the growing transportation needs in the Greater Pinellas Gateway area and also took the time to recognize the hard work and dedication of District Seven Road Ranger Mark McBride.

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Road Ranger Mark McBride with Gov. Scott

Thank you to ITS Support Manager Romona Burke for the following write-up on Mark and his efforts.

“Mark McBride has been a Road Ranger with D7 since 2000.  Not only is he one of the longest serving Road Rangers, he is also the oldest -which does not show in his ability to perform his job in a superior manner.  Mark has not only been a long term asset to the program, but has proven to be a man of high moral values.  During his time as a Road Ranger, he has often gone above and beyond the expected duties.

Mark once found some college textbooks.  Knowing their value, he spent hours of his own time tracking down the owner and making sure they were returned.

In another incident, Mark found $8,000 cash plus credit cards and checks in a briefcase along the interstate.  The owner’s name was in the case, so he contacted his supervisor and the police, as well as the owner to make sure everything was returned to the person who lost it.

Mark also found a woman’s purse with money and credit cards inside. He called his and supervisor and they managed to contact the church that the woman attends, and arranged to meet her at the church to return her purse.

These are just a few of examples of what makes Mark not only a great Road Ranger but a wonderful human being who is always willing to go above and beyond to help others.”

With the Gateway Express project, an expressway option will better serve the community by providing faster travel times and by providing revenue to cover future maintenance and operating costs. A toll-free option will remain available on the existing road network therefore giving drivers a choice. Motorists will be able to travel from US 19 or from the St. Petersburg/Clearwater Airport to I-275 without stopping at any signals.  The potential time savings is from nine to 13 minutes during the morning and afternoon commutes.

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