FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
The Wekiva Parkway (State Road 429) is a planned 25-mile toll road that will complete the beltway around metropolitan Orlando. Authorized in 2004 by the Wekiva Parkway and Protection Act (Chapter 369, Part III, F.S.), this expressway has been heralded as an example for transportation planning through an environmentally sensitive area – the Wekiva River Basin. Development of the Wekiva Parkway has included setting aside more than 3,400 acres of land for conservation. The parkway also will include numerous wildlife bridges, and will be largely elevated to reduce accidents between vehicles and wildlife.
The parkway is being developed jointly by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and the Central Florida Expressway (CFX). When the parkway opens, the Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise will operate the FDOT sections.
The Wekiva Parkway will complete the beltway around northwest Central Florida, and reduce traffic congestion on US 441, SR 46 and other area roads. The Wekiva Parkway should improve safety and reduce vehicle crashes, particularly on SR 46, by separating motorists driving between counties from those making shorter, more local trips. The parkway also will be largely elevated and include wildlife bridges that should reduce collisions between vehicles and animals.
The parkway will provide access to private properties and a non-tolled option for local trips from the County Road 46A realignment in Lake County to Orange Boulevard (CR 431) in Seminole County. This will be accomplished by a non-tolled service road parallel to the Wekiva Parkway.
The parkway will feature all electronic tolling, so motorists will not need cash. They will be able to pay their tolls without slowing down or stopping.
A multi-use trail also will parallel sections of the parkway, further opening the area's state-owned natural lands to hikers and bikers.
The parkway will begin at the SR 429 (Daniel Webster Western Beltway)/SR 414 (John Land Apopka Expressway) interchange at the new Connector Road just north of US 441 in Apopka. From there it will go north to a systems interchange just south of the Orange County-Lake County line. There will be a connection from the systems interchange to the northwest, across the county line to connect with SR 46 near Round Lake Road. The other leg from the systems interchange will head east and then north along the SR 46 corridor in Lake and Seminole Counties before turning south to connect with SR 417 (Central Florida GreeneWay).
Interchange locations were kept to a minimum per the 2004 Wekiva Parkway & Protection Act to curb potential development in the environmentally sensitive area. Once completed, motorists will be able to access the parkway in the following locations:
This estimated $1.6 billion project involves $500 million of non-toll road improvements including:
Through the partnership between the Central Florida Expressway Authority and the Florida Department of Transportation, the Wekiva Parkway is being funded through the respective agency work plans.
The Wekiva Parkway is a cooperative effort between the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and the Central Florida Expressway Authority. CFX is primarily responsible for the Orange County portion, while the FDOT is responsible for the portions in Lake and Seminole counties.
Construction began Feb. 18, 2013 on the design-build Sections 4A and 4B of the parkway, since right-of-way acquisition and permitting were complete. That section is slated to open in late spring of 2015.
CFX in late 2014 was soliciting bids from firms to build and oversee construction of Sections 1A and 1B. Construction on Section 1A is scheduled to begin in the first quarter of 2015, with Section 1B to follow later that year.
The rest of the project is currently wrapping up final design, which is expected to finish by late 2015 on all but one section – 7B.
The Wekiva Parkway is being designed and built in sections. FDOT began construction on Sections 4A and 4B on Feb. 18, 2013. These two design-build projects are being done together to form 3.14 miles of limited access toll road from County Road 435/Mount Plymouth Road, north across the Lake County Line/Orange County Line, northeast to an interchange at State Road 46 west of Old McDonald Road. This section will be open to traffic in spring of 2015.
The FDOT started construction in this location because all of the property needed had already been acquired. The design-build technique allows a team of design engineers and a contractor to build portions of the project as design progresses, accelerating the construction process.
CFX is scheduled to next begin construction on its first two sections, from north of the SR 429 / US 441 interchange (just west of Plymouth Sorrento Road) to north of Kelly Park Road, in the first quarter of 2015. Completion of these sections is scheduled for late 2016.
Construction will begin on the remaining sections of the parkway in phases from 2017 on, until the parkway is completed in 2021.
The first part of the Wekiva Parkway – from CR 435/Mt. Plymouth Road to SR 46 west of Old MacDonald Road – is slated to open by late spring of 2015. The parkway will be built in sections, with the goal to have the entire roadway open to traffic in 2021. Please remember, however, that schedules are subject to change due to a host of variables with a project of this magnitude.
The agencies by late September had conducted three public meetings in 2014, and five public meetings in 2013 - attended by a total of nearly 1,600 people. You can check out the recaps and materials from the various meetings by clicking here.
The next public meeting will be scheduled for Section 7A to review 60 percent design plans in 2015. Additional public meetings will continue to be scheduled for the various sections.
Authorized by the landmark 2004 Wekiva Parkway & Protection Act, development of the Wekiva Parkway has included setting aside more than 3,400 acres of land for conservation.
Among the primary goals are to meet regional mobility needs while minimizing impacts to the Wekiva River Basin and improving wildlife habitat connectivity between conservation lands. The parkway also will include three wildlife bridges and a new longer, higher-profile bridge over the Wekiva River that will provide 7,900 feet of safe passage underneath for animals. The current two wildlife tunnels provide a total of 79 feet of passage. The parkway also will be largely elevated to reduce accidents between vehicles and wildlife.
The Florida Department of Transportation will build a multi-use trail along portions of Sections 4A, 4B, 5, 6 and 7A in Orange, east Lake and Seminole Counties. The trail will cross over a new, high-profile bridge over the Wekiva River. The Wekiva Parkway trail is planned to tie into a proposed extension of the West Orange Trail in Orange County, the Lake-Wekiva trail in Lake County and a planned extension of the Seminole-Wekiva Trail in Seminole County.
The initial cost for the Wekiva Parkway trail is estimated at $4 million, again subject to change. Approximately 7,700 feet of the trail will be bridged along Section 6 – including a 2,000-foot-bridge over the Wekiva River.
The Department, in working with local governments, in summer 2014 also began design on the trail that will parallel Sections 4A and 4B. Part of that trail is funded for construction in 2017-2018.
13. What will the bridge over the Wekiva River look like?
The look of the Wekiva River bridge is part of the Section 6 design. The Florida Department of Transportation has been coordinating with local, state and federal environmental officials, environmental advocates and other key stakeholders to ensure the bridge helps to protect wildlife while also having a look that fits in with the context of the surrounding natural environment. You can learn more about the bridge design by clicking here.
14. Is the Wekiva Parkway expected to have an impact on the area economy?
Yes. Using the Federal Highway Administration formula, we estimate that during design & construction, the Wekiva Parkway will provide more than 35,000 jobs directly or indirectly related to the project.
15. How will tolls be collected on the Wekiva Parkway?
The parkway will feature all electronic tolling to maximize traffic flow and for enhanced motorist convenience. The parkway will feature a cashless system of toll collection. Motorists will be able to pay their tolls at safe highway and ramp speeds, without having to slow down or stop.
16. I live in the area of the parkway, will my property be affected?
Information about the acquisition processes for each agency is available at www.wekivaparkway.com.
For CFX right-of-way acquisition questions, please contact Deborah Poindexter, Right of Way Coordinator, at 407-925-7418 or via email at Deborah.Poindexter@atkinsglobal.com.
For FDOT right-of-way acquisition questions from attorneys or for public records requests, call the legal division at 1-800-780-7102 or email to PublicRecords.D5@dot.state.fl.us.
For property owner impact questions or requests to sell property on FDOT project sections, contact Mike McPhail, Right of Way Cost Estimates Design Support Manager at 1-800-780-7102.
17. How will I be able to stay informed about the Wekiva Parkway?
You can check this website periodically for updates on this landmark project, as well as to view fact sheets, project presentations and other material. You can also contact the project public information officer by phone at 407-694-5505 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We also will be scheduling additional public meetings on the project, which will be advertised on this website.
You can also follow the project on Facebook and Twitter for real-time updates.
You can also request a presentation to your neighborhood association or community organization by emailing the public information officer at email@example.com with the details of your group meeting.
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