CFX building innovative expressway in Orange/Lake Counties

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Florida Construction News staff writer

The Central Florida Expressway Authority (CFX) is calling a new construction project its “most forward-thinking and eco-conscious expressway yet”. Joined by a coalition of local and state officials, as well as industry experts, the groundbreaking ceremony marked the beginning of State Road 516, commonly known as the Lake/Orange Expressway.

“This project signifies a significant shift in how we approach transportation for the future,” said Michelle Maikisch, the Executive Director of CFX. “Through a blend of innovation, technology, and sustainability, we’re paving the way for more efficient and environmentally responsible transit solutions.”

The Lake/Orange Expressway will:

  • address the anticipated transportation needs resulting from planned urban expansion.
  • support economic growth and job creation in the Lake County Wellness Way Area Plan.
  • establish a new public trail in partnership with Lake County, connecting seamlessly with Horizon West Town Center, the forthcoming Valencia College campus, and regional trail networks.
  • incorporate a wildlife tunnel beneath US 27 to facilitate the Florida Wildlife Corridor.

The site will feature an electrified road pilot program designed to charge electric vehicles at highway speeds. Collaborating with Advancing Sustainability Through Powered Infrastructure for Roadway Electrification (ASPIRE), CFX will integrate a wireless charging system into a three-quarter-mile stretch of one travel lane, to assess the feasibility road of electrification.

CFX also plans to install solar arrays along the corridor to offset anticipated power consumption for roadway illumination, signage, tolling stations, and intelligent transportation systems (ITS) infrastructure.

The project is expected to attain platinum-level Envision certification, the highest standards of sustainability and resilience in civil infrastructure.

Spanning 4.4 miles, State Road 516 will be constructed in three segments, extending from SR 429 to US 27, with an anticipated completion date in 2027. Construction on the initial segment, from the Lake/Orange County boundary to SR 429, is scheduled to commence in May 2024, followed by work on the subsequent segments later this year.

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