SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. – Traveling between Sanford and Mt. Dora is about to get easier.
As soon as Monday, the Florida Department of Transportation is set to open its longest section of the Wekiva Parkway. The section stretches more than six miles on new, elevated roadway. Drivers can enter or exit State Road 429 near Camp Challenge Road in Lake County and via ramps west of Longwood Markham Road in Seminole County.
This stretch also includes several wildlife crossing bridges to help keep drivers and animals safe in the Wekiva River basin.
Realtor Dan Goodman lives nearby in Heathrow and sells homes in the area. He said traveling around during the construction has been frustrating.
“It’s been so congested, crowded. It’s been really slow. It’s been a set back,” Goodman said.
Goodman said he’s hopeful that when the new toll road opens it will relieve traffic on State Road 46.
“It’s been a little annoying, so we’re excited to see the change and finally get these roadways for us,” he said.
The new stretch comes more than six years after FDOT opened the first section of the $1.6 billion project. The 25-mile toll road will complete a beltway around the western half of the Orlando metro area.
It is also the first in Central Florida to use all-electronic tolls.
Goodman said as the area is growing, the parkway will help connect more communities and make traveling more convenient.
“It’s going to be easier to have a broader area of living. If someone wants to commute, now it won’t be such a problem and only one solution, like I-4,” Goodman said. “This will open up a lot more traffic opportunities.”
FDOT said the entire Wekiva Parkway is set to open in 2023.
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