The $1.6 billion Wekiva Parkway will see its final construction run this summer.
On June 22, the Central Florida Expressway Authority announced it had awarded the contract for the fifth and final section of Wekiva Parkway, known as Section 2A, to Superior Construction Co. The $38.65 million contract involves work on the roadway between Kelly Park Rd. and Mount Plymouth Rd.
The Wekiva Parkway (SR 429) will connect to SR 417, completing the beltway around Central Florida, while helping to protect the natural resources surrounding the Wekiva River. This estimated $1.6 billion project also includes $500 million of non-toll road improvements including:
- Widening seven (7) miles of SR 46 in Lake and Seminole Counties
- Rebuilding the US 441/SR 46 interchange in Mount Dora
- Shifting the CR 46A connection to SR 46 so wildlife can move more safely between habitats
- Providing non-tolled, one-lane service roads parallel to the parkway in part of east Lake and Seminole Counties
- Building a 10-mile, multi-use trail along portions of the parkway in east Lake and Seminole counties
“We are so close to seeing what has been planned for decades become a reality,” said authority chairman Welton Cadwell in a prepared statement. “When it’s done, the Wekiva Parkway is going to connect Lake, Orange and Seminole counties like never before while preserving and protecting some of our region’s most important environmental resources and at the same time giving our community opportunities for economic development.”
The project is expected to generate more than 36,000 direct and indirect jobs during design and construction, and will help reduce traffic congestion on U.S. Highway 441, State Road 46 and other area roads.
Authorized in 2004 by the Wekiva Parkway and Protection Act (Chapter 369, Part III, F.S.), this expressway has been heralded as a shining example for transportation planning through an environmentally sensitive area. Development of the Wekiva Parkway has included setting aside more than 3,400 acres of land for conservation. The parkway also will include numerous wildlife bridges, and will be largely elevated to reduce accidents between vehicles and wildlife.