Business View Magazine | February 2021

28 BUSINESS VIEW MAGAZINE FEBRUARY 2021 that’s enabling additional transportation and congestion relief in the greater Orlando area and the entire metropolitan area that is currently undergoing rapid growth.” Besides this project, the state is also planning to complete the beltway around Jacksonville commonly referred to as First Coast Expressway. While the pandemic’s impact has slowed down some of the state’s projects, it is having more of a delayed effect rather than a permanent one. As one of the fastest-growing states, Florida is on track to add another four million residents to its current 21 million by 2030. With an additional 35 to 50 million tourists pouring into the state each year, the association cannot emphasize enough that having basic infrastructure in place is needed to accommodate the people that are moving to the state and around the state. Looking forward, the FTBA expects to see more technology adoption in the industry, although not at as rapid a rate as other less capital-intensive industries. “We are seeing some adoption of 3D modeling and automated machine guidance, although our members have a lot of upfront investments in heavy equipment, so it will take time for these technologies, including robotics and automation, to gain ground,” says Prasad. “For the state of Florida, I see one of its most significant problems as an opportunity. Congestion is good because it means that the state and the economy is growing. But if you do not manage it, it could have the reverse effect, by negatively affected quality of life and forcing people to move away. “As such, the FTBA is committed to supporting the Governor, the Florida Legislatire, and other stakeholders in cultivating a vibrant economy that creates jobs for Floridians and people moving to the state, and provides an ideal environment for the seniors and retirees who call our state their home,” he adds. “We plan to support this growth by focusing on making sure that as a state, we’re able to move people and goods efficiently and safely.” a thousand people attend the event. But due to social distancing, and the fact that Orlando was just reopening, we had to scale it down significantly.” Despite these restrictions, the event still drew about 250 participants who attended in person. From a project perspective, the FTBA has several initiatives underway that Prasad believes are putting Florida on the right infrastructure track. He reports, “The DOT and the Central Florida Expressway Authority are working towards completing the Wekiva Parkway. When completed, it will complete the beltway around Orlando, making it a great project