Expressway Authority: SR 429/SR 414 Interchange Project
The Orlando-Orange County Expressway Authority (OOCEA) started construction of Phase II of State Road 414 (John Land Apopka Expressway) in June 2010. It is scheduled to be completed in summer 2012. The first phase of the expressway project opened to all motorists in May 2009.
Once complete, Phase II will feature a new interchange between SR 414 and State Road 429 (Daniel Webster Western Beltway) and will extend SR 429 northwest to US 441 near Plymouth Sorrento Road. There, it will ultimately tie into the planned Wekiva Parkway project, which will complete the much-needed beltway around Orlando.
This project will also improve traffic flow between SR 429 and SR 414, accommodate future growth in west Orange County, and provide improved access to I-4 and the attractions. More than 15,600 vehicles a day travel this section of SR 429. That traffic volume is projected to increase to 26,100 by the year 2029.
Project Development & Environmental Impact
Authorized in 2004 by the Florida legislature in the Wekiva Parkway and Protection Act (the Act), the 27-mile Wekiva Parkway would:
- Complete the Western Beltway (State Road 429) around metropolitan Orlando
- Provide an alternative to Interstate 4
- Relieve SR 46, US 441 and other local roads of traffic congestion between Orange, Lake and Seminole Counties
- Improve safety to reduce vehicle crash fatalities, particularly on SR 46
- Develop a transportation facility that minimizes impacts to Wekiva River Basin resources, and that specifically improves wildlife habitat connectivity between conservation lands and reduces vehicle- wildlife conflicts
The parkway will help to protect area resources in several ways:
- Elevated Parkway: In Lake and Seminole counties the roadway will replace segments of existing SR 46, one of the deadliest roads in Florida for both people and wildlife. Elevating portions of the roadway is expected to greatly reduce vehicle collisions with animals.
- Extensive Wildlife Crossings and Longer Bridges: Currently, two wildlife tunnels under SR 46 in east Lake County provide a total of 78 ft. of safe crossing for hundreds of animals. The Wekiva Parkway project would replace the tunnels with two wildlife bridges totaling nearly 6,000 ft. in length — more than 76 times the current crossing space. These new bridges will enhance habitat connectivity by allowing more animals to safely move between the Rock Springs Run State Reserve and the Seminole State Forest. Another 800 ft. long bridge is planned for the Neighborhood Lakes conservation property to allow wildlife to move east/west to and from the Rock Springs Run State Reserve. In addition, the parkway would replace the existing 561 ft. Wekiva River bridge with one about 2,150 ft. in length.
- Realigning County Road 46A: Closing the portion of existing CR 46A which passes through the Seminole State Forest will reduce the number of animals harmed by vehicles and provide habitat connectivity in the forest. The realigned CR 46A would connect to SR 46 further to the west, outside the forest.