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Wekiva Parkway (State Road 429) opening Wednesday, January 20, 2016

 

SORRENTO, FLThe Florida Department of Transportation is scheduled to open the first section of the long-awaited Wekiva Parkway (State Road 429) at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, January 20, 2016. The department is opening Sections 4A and 4B from County Road 435 (Mount Plymouth Road) near Haas Road in Orange County to State Road 46 east of Camp Challenge Road in Lake County.

 

The $1.6 billion Wekiva Parkway will complete Central Florida’s beltway, while helping to protect the natural resources surrounding the Wekiva River. Work on this first 3.14-mile parkway stretch began in February 2013, with a construction cost of $25.48 million.

 

ADDITIONAL PROJECT DETAILS: The 25-mile Wekiva Parkway is a collaboration between the Florida Department of Transportation, Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise and the Central Florida Expressway Authority. The parkway will feature all electronic tolling to keep traffic moving and for the greatest customer convenience. The Wekiva Parkway will provide travel alternatives, enhance safety and relieve US 441 and other area roads of traffic congestion. Non-tolled, one-lane service roads for local trips will parallel the parkway in portions of Lake County and Seminole County.

 

Authorized by the 2004 Wekiva Parkway & Protection Act, parkway development has included conserving more than 3,400 acres of land. The parkway will include extensive wildlife bridges, will be largely elevated and will relocate a small portion of County Road 46A out of the Seminole State Forest to reduce conflicts between vehicles and wildlife. The parkway will include a 10-mile, multi-use trail along portions primarily in Lake and Seminole Counties.

                                                                          
 

 

SECTION 4A & 4B FACT SHEET

 

SECTION OVERVIEW: The Section 4A and 4B design-build projects form 3.14 miles of expressway from County Road 435 (Mount Plymouth Road), north of Haas Road, to State Road 46 east of Camp Challenge Road. The FDOT started first on this four-lane section of parkway because all of the property needed had been acquired. 

 

Project Schedule:

Design-Build Start:                  November 2012

Construction Start:                  February 18, 2013

Project Completion:                January 20, 2016

 

Construction Cost: $25.48 million

 

Project Description: This expressway will be the first in Central Florida to feature all electronic tolling for the greatest customer convenience. The section includes a partial interchange at SR 46, several bridges and a temporary ramp at CR 435. This temporary connection will be removed once the Central Florida Expressway Authority (CFX) builds the adjacent Section 2A.

 

Toll Cost: The toll is $0.75 for those with E-PASS or SunPASS. Those without a transponder will pay the toll via the Toll by Plate program. That cost is $1.00 plus administrative fees.

 

Multi-use Trail: A future trail will parallel Section 4 and connect to the planned Lake-Wekiva Trail and an extension of the West Orange Trail. Trail construction will begin in 2017.

 

Environmental Considerations:

Conservation - Section 4 lies on the 1,600-acre, former Neighborhood Lakes property, one of several large parcels purchased for conservation as mandated by the 2004 Wekiva Parkway & Protection Act. 

 

Wildlife Protections - Crews in January 2013 relocated 107 gopher tortoises to a state-licensed recipient site. Other gopher tortoises also since have been relocated for protection. A wildlife biologist oversaw staff training and the protection of burrowing owls and other animals during construction. Wildlife fencing measures 10 feet tall with two feet below ground to discourage digging onto the corridor. A floodplain bridge provides safe wildlife passage between habitats during dry periods. Three (3) breaks in the fence called wildlife jump-outs allow animals who wander onto the corridor to safely return to their habitat. Ten (10) bat houses along the project each provide housing for up to 1,200 bats. 

 

Construction Stats:

Bridge Piles:         126 (measuring 11,748 linear feet – or 2.22 miles)

Asphalt:                5,084 tons (or 10.16 million pounds)

Fill Dirt:                 410,000 cubic yards 

 

For more information, contact:            

Mary Brooks, Public Information Officer

      407-694-5505, Info@wekivaparkway.com www.wekivaparkway.com