City of Apopka to Benefit from Accelerated Wekiva Parkway Schedule

The City of Apopka’s surging economic development – and local employment opportunities – are expected to get an even greater boost from the Central Florida Expressway Authority’s accelerated construction of the nearby Wekiva Parkway. Thanks to the approval of a federal loan, CFX expects to finish the nearly 10-mile stretch up to 18 months early.

CFX plans by early June to begin building Section 1A, from where State Road 429 ends now at U.S. Highway 441 to north of Ponkan Road. That will be followed quickly by work beginning in August on Section 1B, from Ponkan Road to the planned Kelly Park Road interchange. All five of the CFX sections are scheduled to be open to traffic by January 1, 2018. The previously scheduled completion was in 2019.

Apopka already is directly linked to Florida’s Turnpike and the Interstate 75 corridor via existing stretches of S.R. 429. The 2021 completion of the 25-mile Wekiva Parkway will directly link Apopka to the Interstate 4/Interstate 95 corridor.

The expanding road network will accommodate increasing business developments, and prepare Apopka for future growth. That includes Florida Hospital Apopka’s new, 600,000-square foot hospital and medical office building proposed on 70 acres southeast of Harmon Road and S.R. 429.

Tampa-based Prince Contracting was the apparent low-bidder to build CFX’s Section 1A. The 21-month project is expected to cost just over $56 million and will include a full interchange at the S.R. 429 connector road accessing U.S. 441 and Plymouth Sorrento Road, as well as bridges at Southfork Drive, Yothers Road, Ponkan Road and other locations.

The Central Florida Expressway Authority Board is scheduled to review the contractor bid and proposed selection at a meeting set for 9 a.m. Thursday, April 9, in Orlando. Preliminary work is underway to relocate utility lines along the planned roadway.

The Wekiva Parkway sections 4A and 4B spanning 3.1 miles between Mount Plymouth Road in Apopka to State Road 46 in Lake County are expected to open this summer. This part of the expressway, built by the Florida Department of Transportation, will provide fast and convenient access for motorists driving between Apopka, along S.R. 46 to Sanford.

“I think all we can see is positives with this,” said Apopka City Commissioner Bill Arrowsmith. “Every time you go to Sanford, you can jump on [the Wekiva Parkway] from Mt. Plymouth Road.”

CFX received the loan in March through the federal Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act to accelerate completion of its share of the Wekiva Parkway. The additional funding also could potentially save over $250million in bond interest payments.

The 25-mile, $1.6 billion Wekiva Parkway will expand S.R. 429 from U.S. 441 to State Road 417 and will have a major impact on Apopka by providing direct transportation routes to the Interstate 4/95 corridor and faster access to neighboring Lake County. The Parkway also completes a large highway loop around Orlando that currently connects Apopka to Florida’s Turnpike.

The growing road network centers Apopka as a major transportation hub – ideal for businesses and residents to reach other parts of Florida.   “I think it helps us tremendously,” Arrowsmith said.

For information on City of Apopka economic development or other activities, contact Robert Sargent as noted above. For more information on the Wekiva Parkway, contact Public Information Officer Mary Brooks at 407-694-5505 or via email at info@wekivaparkway.com. You may also view schedules, exhibits, videos and other information on the project website at www.wekivaparkway.com

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