Turtle Tunnel

By: Whitney Ray
By: Whitney Ray

Florida is receiving 13 billion federal stimulus dollars to build roads, feed seniors, and save jobs. But 3.4 million of Florida’s cut is going to build a tunnel to help turtles cross a busy highway. The turtle tunnel has some taxpayers outraged.

US Highway 27 near Tallahassee is said to be the deadliest road in the world, that is for turtles. The highway divides two lakes. The turtles use one for nesting.

Dr. Matt Aresco is an environmentalist.

“Most of the road kills I find out here, they are not even pass this white line.”

Dr. Matt Aresco has been on a 10 year mission to help the turtles cross the road. His hard work will pay off this September, when 3.4 million federal stimulus dollars will be spent to build a tunnel under the highway.

“Even if you are not in favor of wildlife conservation, which a major part of this project is, would you want to hit a 400 lbs alligator with your car at night or have a turtle the size of a cinder block come through your windshield.”

The project has its critics. Pace Allen, a member of several anti-tax groups says the turtle tunnel is a waste of money.

“It’s outrageous, unbelievable, but I think there is a real opportunity for people to standup and say look at this example our governments, federal, state and local are totally out of control.”

“The turtle tunnel is just one of more than 520 road and bridge projects the state plans to spend build with stimulus dollars.”

Leon County Commissioner Cliff Thaell says the project will create jobs.

“We have a lot of people hungry for work and ready to earn a living. This job is going to put people back to work and put food on their table.”

And the dish won’t be turtle soup.

The Turtle tunnel made the list of 100 questionable spending projects released by Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn. The list was sent submitted to the presidents’ office, which responded by calling the report “flawed.”


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Harry Location: Downers Grove on May 11, 2012 at 11:51 AM
    Can I get a job as proofreader? Most of the road kills I find out here, they are not even pass this white line would you want to hit a 400 lbs alligator with your car
  • by JimLA Location: Charlotte nc on Oct 2, 2011 at 03:46 AM
    How big are these lakes? Is there just one turtle tunnel? If there is just one, what criteria was used to decide where along the highway to put it? How are the turtles going to find it? Is it going to be well lit? Is there going to be restaurants and overnight places, You know they do not traverse anything very quickly. A shell washer and polisher might work. I swear that I just can't come up with 3.4 million dollars even adding all the above amenities.
  • by Turtle girl Location: Kentucky on Sep 29, 2011 at 08:51 PM
    There is a safety issue with the turtles causing accidents, as well as their endangered status. Their safe passage to the other lake is good for all. Perhaps the tunnel should be scrapped and just close the road! The turtles and the lakes were there before the road, SAVE the TURTLES! BTW I am from Kentucky and embarrassed at Rand Paul's comments about this. he is NOT a typical Kentuckian-nor a native, just so u know!
  • by Ralph Location: Florida on Sep 19, 2011 at 02:50 PM
    You might make this tunnel, but will the turtles use it ? When we had goats and we would want to herd them through the open gate to put them into another field they'd go everywhere except where we wanted them to go. Might be the same for the turtles.
  • by Linda Location: Florida on Sep 2, 2011 at 03:16 PM
    when they build this thing they have to remember the danger signs and slippery when wet. If we are gonna be this stupid we might as well go all out.
  • by John Location: Phoenix on Nov 25, 2010 at 04:49 PM
    Hey, Im all for the project, but not at government expense. I also question how on earth the turtles will use the tunnel instead of the road.
  • by Mack Location: GA on Nov 7, 2010 at 04:38 AM
    The first poster from CA says she's tired of red states getting her blue states money. CA is $billions$ in debt from govt. waste,like most blue states.So CA can fend for itself, no Fed. bailout. Liberals always are happy to spend other people's money. Why doesn't Joy just send her own money for the stupid project.Where did tea party enter this?
  • by Joy Location: CA on Oct 5, 2010 at 09:17 PM
    I am a tax payer, in the top 2% bracket which means I pay more in taxes than the majority of people who are reading this. Listen loud and clear. I SUPPORT THIS PROJECT AND I WANT MY MONEY SPENT ON THIS PROJECT. GOT IT! I support saving the turtles! Hypocrites in the tea party, not so, please fend for yourself. I am sick of red states taking blue state's money and then spitting in our face.
    • reply
      by JimLA on Oct 2, 2011 at 04:07 AM in reply to Joy
      I am all for helping the turtles and most everything else that does not have the rationale to understand that certain death awaits them in their pursuit. How are the turtles going to find this tunnel and have the capacity to know to use it? The turtles are pretty much straight forward creatures. I really do not think a tunnel is the answer.
  • by Billy Location: tampa on Aug 24, 2010 at 07:39 PM
    will there be a toll?
  • by jonathan Location: Lake Worth on Jul 24, 2009 at 07:08 AM
    If you are not as Biologically educated as some, you should know that amphibians are in the middle of a mass extinction due to global climate change. You may not understand their significance, how ever it is important to know that humans will soon suffer the same fate in the wake of a mass extinction. Cold blooded animals are disappering first, others will follow.
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