It’s been anxiously talked about for years. Now the final five miles of Central Florida Expressway Authority’s (CFX) section of the Wekiva Parkway opens March 31. This portion of State Road 429 will provide a crucial expressway connection to State Road 46 and communities throughout Lake, Orange and Seminole Counties.
The newly completed sections are located between Kelly Park Road and State Road 46, and between Round Lake Road and Mount Plymouth Road. The opening of this stretch means more than half of the entire 25-mile parkway is open to traffic.
Work on these sections began in 2016 and cost $168 million to construct. In all, CFX has built five parkway sections totaling 10 miles and more than $271 million in construction costs. The entire $1.6 billion Wekiva Parkway will complete Central Florida’s beltway in 2022.
The road’s opening will be celebrated from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. on March 31 with a 5-K race and Family Fun Run/Walk. There will also be environmental and community booths, entertainment and a ribbon cutting. The road will open after the festivities.
The Wekiva Parkway was designed to protect the natural resources surrounding the Wekiva River. Environmental protections include purchasing 3,400 acres of land for conservation along the corridor, building nearly 1.5 miles of wildlife bridges, limiting the number of interchanges, elevating the parkway to reduce collisions between vehicles and wildlife, and providing wildlife jump-outs, bat houses and special fencing. All proceeds from the Grand Opening event are being donated to the Florida Wildlife Corridor non-profit organization.
Learn the 10 things you need to know about the Wekiva Parkway here.For more local business and real estate articles, click here.