The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) in the US has started accelerating major infrastructure projects, valued at $2.1bn, amid the coronavirus (Covid-19).

The move follows the reduced traffic throughout Florida caused by the fight against the pandemic, where people are encouraged to avoid non-essential travel.

By improving crucial transportation systems of the state, FDOT aims to generate job opportunities.

Across all FDOT districts, the projects to be accelerated include the Howard Frankland Bridge project in the Tampa Bay area valued at $864m, the widening of Southern Boulevard (SR 80) in western Palm Beach County, and the $802m I-395/SR 836/I-95 Design Build Project in Miami-Dade.

As identified by the department, other projects include the Florida Turnpike Enterprise, Sand Lake Road (SR 482) in Orlando, and the first construction phase on one of the US-1 Cow Key Bridge, Southeast Florida.

In addition, in southwest Florida, the I-75 at the SR 70 Interchange in Manatee County and paving, widening and signal upgrades along State Road 951 in southern Collier County will also be speeded up.

In northwest Florida and northeast Florida, the 23rd Street Flyover project at the intersection of US 98 and 23rd Street in Bay County and the Diverging Diamond Interchange on SR 200 (A1A) at Interstate 95 in Nassau County will be accelerated.

FDOT secretary Kevin Thibault said: “The Governor understands that Florida’s transportation system is the backbone of our economy and FDOT is proud to accelerate projects, which will help expedite goods to market and provide much needed jobs throughout the state.

“Safety is our top priority, so we will continue to ensure that employees have the sanitation supplies needed to follow the guidance from the CDC and work with our industry partners to implement these same precautions to keep workers safe and healthy.”