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Winter Park / Maitland Observer Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018 2 years ago

Denning Drive trail project in Winter Park enters second phase

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The project will add a multi-use trail from Mead Botanical Garden to Webster Avenue.
by: Tim Freed Managing Editor

A Winter Park project that will give residents a new multi-use trail along Denning Drive is on the path to completion.

The project will add a 10-foot-wide, multi-use trail on the east side of Denning Drive from Mead Botanical Garden to Webster Avenue, connecting neighborhoods and businesses along the route to help improve the pedestrian experience.

“The trail provides safe pedestrian travel for residents, connecting several amenities including MLK Jr. Park and Mead Botanical Garden,” Economic Development/CRA Manager Kyle Dudgeon said. “It also acts as an alternative means of tying neighborhoods to the places they need like grocery stores and retail shops.”

That entire stretch of Denning Drive will be brought from four lanes to three by the end of the project. Traffic issues are expected to be mitigated with new signalized turns at the major intersections, Dudgeon said.

The city began construction on phase two of the project on Monday, Feb. 5, focusing on the stretch of Denning from Fairbanks Avenue to Morse Boulevard.

Construction will take place from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, with work expected to take about six to eight weeks. During construction, north- and south-bound lanes will remain open for travel, but drivers should expect delays.

Phase one, which is nearing completion, included a redesign of Denning from Orange to Fairbanks avenues and decorative lighting, mid-block crossings, medians, new landscaping and trees, in addition to the new trail.

On Monday, Jan. 29, the city’s electric utility crews began working in the area undergrounding the overhead powerlines. This underground project will begin at the intersection of Denning Drive and Canton Avenue, head west to U.S. 17-92, then north to Webster Avenue, travel east to Denning Drive and, finally, south back to Canton Avenue. The city plans to place all overhead powerlines underground within the next nine years.

The Denning Drive project was approved by the Community Development Agency in February 2017, but talks surfaced a few years earlier about the project coming to fruition.

Going from four lanes to three along Denning Drive raised concerns about traffic among residents back in 2015, but studies showed the project made sense.

According to a report from engineering consultant firm Comprehensive Engineering Services Inc., roadways that are good candidates for similar road narrowing projects see average daily traffic of 20,000 or fewer vehicles per day. A 24-hour traffic count conducted along Denning during a weekday in October 2014 showed the road saw about 8,900 vehicles per day — well below the 20,000 threshold, the report concluded.

 

Tim Freed was the managing editor for the West Orange Times & Observer and the Southwest Orange Observer. He previously spent six years covering the Winter Park/Maitland area and is a graduate of the University of Central Florida.

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