Oakland roundabout plans moving forward

Town commissioners heard the update in their first virtual meeting since the coronavirus pandemic began.

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The Oakland Town Commission received an update at its Tuesday, April 14, virtual meeting on the much-anticipated roundabout on the west end of Oakland Avenue.

The town continues to work with Orange County, consultant firm CPH and MetroPlan Orlando in the planning and the facilitating of the project.

The county is working on obtaining a consultant for construction engineering and inspection, which will be paid for by the county and the town. Orange County is in the process of drafting the interlocal agreement.

Meritage Homes is building the Oakland Trails subdivision off J.W. Jones Road — just off the proposed roundabout — and the developer gave a substantial piece of property for the road improvements plus funding. The funding from Meritage is through the transportation impact fees that are being collected as each house is permitted.

The roundabout accomplishes two things for the development, Town Manager Steve Koontz said.

“The first would be better traffic management out of the development especially during peak times when traffic backs up due to the current intersection configuration,” he said. “It will also give residents of Oakland Trails safe pedestrian and bike access to the West Orange Trail that they do not have now. I believe proximity to the trail was a big selling point.”

Land-acquisition documents are being finalized, according to the town.

The town and CPH submitted the 90% construction plans and bid documents to the county in February. The county replied with comments to the town earlier this month.

The state of Florida is providing $1.2 million in funding through MetroPlan, and this is in the Fiscal Year 2020-21 budget. The town budgeted $500,000 in impact fee funds for the roundabout, as well.

Any construction costs over the grant funding will be shared equally between the town and the county.

The timeline for the bidding and construction of the project have not been determined, according to the town.

Once the project is finished, Oakland will take over maintenance of the roundabout.

The town pursued the idea of a roundabout several years ago, deeming it necessary because of the amount of traffic in that area. J.W. Jones, Old State Road 50, Oakland Avenue, the West Orange Trail and the driveways of two busy commercial properties intersect just north of West Colonial Drive.



Amy Quesinberry

Community Editor Amy Quesinberry was born at the old West Orange Memorial Hospital and raised in Winter Garden. Aside from earning her journalism degree from the University of Georgia, she hasn’t strayed too far from her hometown and her three-mile bubble. She grew up reading The Winter Garden Times and knew in the eighth grade she wanted to write for her community newspaper. She has been part of the writing and editing team since 1990.

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