There's some big news concerning a major highway project that has been in the works for years in Citrus County.

It's an idea that has been on the books for a long time. The Suncoast Parkway 2 project has been a slow-going process, but now things have moved into the fast lane with possible construction getting underway next year.

At one point, the project to extend the Suncoast Parkway into Citrus County was just about dead, but there has been a big turnaround.

Gov. Rick Scott has included $149 million in his proposed budget for the right-of-way design.

Charles Slaughter, a Citrus County resident, is excited the project could be moving forward once again.

"We wish they would have done it two or three years ago," Slaughter said.

The 13-mile extension would go up to State Road 44, in Lecanto, with an interchange in Homosassa.

The parkway currently ends at the Hernando-Citrus county line.

If everything goes according to plane, Florida Department of Transportation leaders said the project could be done as soon as July 2019.

Lou Leinhauser frequently commutes from Tallahassee to Tampa. He's a big fan of the parkway that's in place now, but he's worried about the environmental impact of more highway.

"Believe me, I enjoy the convenience," Leinhauser said. "But, I've seen what they have done to the Everglades and some other things."

Department of Transportation officials estimate the total price tag for the project to be about $223 million.