- November 2, 2016
A road widening is on the horizon for a stretch of Vineland Avenue in Southwest Orange County.
Orange County leaders held the preliminary design study community meeting Thursday, Jan. 23, at the Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary, Queen of the Universe. The widening is planned for a 0.65 mile stretch of Vineland Avenue from the Marriott Village at Lake Buena Vista to the Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary.
The segment of Vineland Avenue currently is a two-lane segment on a four-lane major collector. It includes stretches with a painted median or no median at all, no curb and gutter and has incomplete sidewalks and an S-curve. The segment of Vineland Avenue is operating over capacity, said Greg Scott, a principal planner in the Orange County Transportation Planning Division.
“Currently, there’s just under 1,000 vehicles per hour (on Vineland Avenue) in the peak hours,” Scott said. “The capacity is 800 (vehicles per hour). In engineering lingo, that’s operating at the level of service F. The county has a level of service standard or target of E.”
Scott added that there have been 123 crashes that occurred on this particular stretch of Vineland Avenue from January 2014 to December 2018. Of those crashes, 70% occurred at Little Lake Bryan Parkway and Vineland Avenue, and 20% occurred at portion of Vineland Avenue where the lanes drop from four lanes to two.
The county plans to widen the road from two lanes to four lanes to increase the road’s capacity and help handle the traffic flow. There are four build alternatives for the widening project: no build; shifting the road westward and constructing a median; shifting the road eastward and constructing a median; or shifting the road eastward and building a narrow median.
The preferred build alternative is the third option, to utilize an eastern shift of the road with a reduced median to widen it.
“What that would provide from a congestion standpoint is a level of service D … which is within the county’s target,” Scott said. “It’s the least expensive (and) property impact is the least.”
No matter which build alternative is selected, the widening project also will bring some enhanced safety features like a raised median, extended sidewalks, more lighting, more signage, a curb and gutter, and an intersection at Little Lake Bryan Parkway.
The total cost of the project is estimated at $27.22 million; about $5.62 million would go toward actually widening the road and about $21.6 million would go toward the development of a stormwater system. Developers will be footing some of the costs for the widening project, but the county will handle the rest. Additionally, the county does not yet possess all the rights of way required for the widening project.
“An optimistic time frame would be four-and-a-half years before we start construction because it’ll probably be another four months before this (study) process is over, then we go into design,” Scott said. “It could take a couple of years to get through design, and then we’ve got to start procuring the rights of way, and that’s a couple more years.”