Drivers trying to head through one of Winter Garden’s busiest interchanges should have a smoother commute later this year.
The Central Florida Expressway Authority will start a project this month to improve traffic flow at the State Road 429/County Road 535 interchange — building new ramps to and from Stoneybrook West Parkway. Construction, which will take place nearly a mile south of the interchange, will include a new exit ramp from southbound State Road 429 to Stoneybrook and an entrance ramp from Stoneybrook to northbound State Road 429.
The State Road 429/County Road 535 interchange is extremely busy, especially during the morning and evening commutes, said Kathy Putnam, public information officer for the Central Florida Expressway Authority.
“If you think about all that traffic coming southbound, and they get out at that County Road (535) — or Winter Garden Vineland Road — exit, a good bit of that traffic is going to turn right or left to go to either the Winter Garden Village or to the developments in the area, but a lot of that traffic is going essentially straight on Stoneybrook West Parkway so they can get out to Windermere and beyond,” Putnam said. “Conversely, in the morning time, you’ve got a lot of traffic coming from Windermere and beyond traveling on Stonebrook West Parkway all the way up to the 535 interchange, where they then get to northbound State Road 429.
“What these new ramps will allow is for any of the traffic wanting to go west out to Windermere — or even west of there — they will be able to bypass the 429/535 interchange and get right off on Stoneybrook West Parkway,” she said. “It will really relieve the backup congestion at the ramps at the State Road 429 and County Road 535 interchange.”
Auxiliary lanes will be built, as well, between the new ramps south of the interchange and the existing ramps at County Road 535 and State Road 429, Putnam said.
Brian Hutchings, senior communications specialist for the Central Florida Expressway Authority, noted the new ramps will be using All-Electronic Tolling. Drivers will not be able to use exact change to pay the tolls, he said.
Putnam said construction should involve some lane closures at late night or early morning on State Road 429 and Stoneybrook West Parkway.
The $10.8 million project should be finished in eight months, Putnam said.