FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 

  1. What is the Wekiva Parkway?

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.

 

  1. How will the Wekiva Parkway benefit me?

 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. 

 

  1. Where will the Wekiva Parkway go?

 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). 

  

  1. Where will I be able to get onto the Wekiva Parkway?

 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:

  1. Connector Road near US 441 and Plymouth Sorrento Road;
  2. Kelly Park Road west of Plymouth Sorrento Road;
  3. SR 46 east of Round Lake Road;
  4. SR 46 west of Old MacDonald Road;
  5. SR 46 west of Longwood Markham Road;
  6. SR 46 east of Ross Lake Lane;
  7. SR 46 east of Glade View Drive; and,
  8. SR 417/ I-4 interchange.
  9. While the CFX sections of the parkway are being built, a temporary ramp will provide access to FDOT Sections 4A & 4B from CR 435/Mt. Plymouth Road. The temporary ramp will be removed as part of construction of Section 2A.
  1. How much will it cost to build the Wekiva Parkway?

This estimated $1.6 billion project involves $500 million of non-toll road improvements including:

  • Widening seven (7) miles of SR 46 in Lake and Seminole Counties;
  • Rebuilding the US 441/SR 46 interchange in Mount Dora; and,
  • Shifting part of CR 46A out of the Seminole State Forest so wildlife can move more easily and safely between habitats.

 

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.

 

  1. Who is heading up the effort to build the Wekiva Parkway?

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.

 

  1. What’s happening now with the Wekiva Parkway?

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 opened to traffic on January 20, 2016.

 

CFX in 2015 began construction on Sections 1A and 1B. Those sections are scheduled to open in summer of 2017. Construction on Sections 2A, 2B and 2C began in 2016 and is scheduled to finish in the spring of 2018.

 

FDOT in 2017 is scheduled to begin construction on Sections 3A, 3B, 5 and 6. The department is scheduled to advertise for bids in 2017 for Sections 7A and 8. Design on Section 7B began in December 2016 and is scheduled to finish in 2019.

 

  1.  How will construction occur?

The Wekiva Parkway is being designed and built in sections.  FDOT began construction on Sections 4A and 4B on Feb. 18, 2013. This section opened January 20, 2016, forming 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.

 

CFX in 2015 began construction on Sections 1A and 1B. Those sections are scheduled to open in summer of 2017. Construction on Sections 2A, 2B and 2C began in 2016 and is scheduled to finish in the spring of 2018.

 

Construction will begin on the remaining sections of the parkway in phases from 2017 on, until the parkway is completed in 2021.

 

  1.  When will the Wekiva Parkway be open for traffic?

The first part of the Wekiva Parkway – from CR 435/Mt. Plymouth Road to SR 46 west of Old MacDonald Road – open on January 20, 2016. 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.

 

  1.  Will there be public meetings for the Wekiva Parkway?
CFX completed numerous public meetings for its sections in 2015.
 
FDOT has conducted various design update public meetings and public hearings since 2013, including in 2016 for Sections 3A, 3B, 5 and 8. In 2017, FDOT will have conducted design public meetings for Section 7B and 8, and pre-construction public meetings for Sections 3A/3B, 5 and 6.

 

You can check out the recaps and materials from the various meetings by clicking here. Additional public meetings will continue to be scheduled for the various sections.

 

  1.  How does the construction of the Wekiva Parkway impact the environment?

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.

  1. Will there be a trail along the Wekiva Parkway?

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?

 

The Central Florida Expressway Authority has completed the acquisition of properties for its 10 miles of the expressway, which are currently under construction.

 

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 info@wekivaparkway.com. 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 info@wekivaparkway.com with the details of your group meeting.