A project that would widen about 10 miles of Florida’s Turnpike is on the horizon — but it won’t move forward without your input.
Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise, a part of the Florida Department of Transportation, will host a public kickoff open house Tuesday, March 10, at the Ocoee Lakeshore Center regarding a potential project to widen Florida’s Turnpike from south of State Road 408 to State Road 50.
The open house will specifically address a project development and environment study — a process conducted by the Florida Department of Transportation to determine the social, economic, physical and environmental impacts of the project. The goal of the study is to develop and evaluate project alternatives that would enhance safety, accommodate travel demands, improve travel time reliability and improve system linkage.
The study area extends along Florida’s Turnpike from south of State Road 408 to State Road 50, as well as along State Road 408 from the Turnpike interchange to east of the Old Winter Garden Road overpass.
“Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise has identified the need to widen (to add capacity to) this portion of the Turnpike to accommodate forecasted traffic volumes of freight and passenger vehicles generated by anticipated growth in Orange County and adjacent counties, and to improve emergency evacuation times for the year 2045,” according to the Florida’s Turnpike website.
As part of the study, all interchanges within the project limits and the need for new interchanges will be evaluated, according to a statement from the Florida Department of Transportation.
The open house will give residents a chance to review preliminary project information, provide written comments and speak with staff on a one-on-one basis.
“We hope to provide the public with information about the study process and schedule, as well as receive input from the public about the study area,” Communications Manager Ivette Ruiz-Paz said.
Information about the study area and the need for the project will be on display, but no formal presentation will be given.
Alternatives will be developed and presented at a public information meeting tentatively scheduled for this fall. The study is tentatively scheduled to be completed by fall 2021.