Project Development &
Environment (PD&E) Study
Re-evaluation:

Osceola Parkway Extension

Adopted Osceola Parkway Extension Preferred Alternative

The exhibit below is the Preferred Alternative approved by the CFX board at its December 12, 2019 meeting.

Osceola County Expressway Authority Recommended Preferred Alternative Map

Osceola Parkway Extension FAQs

What is the Osceola Parkway Extension?

The 9-mile limited access toll road would connect State Road 417 near Boggy Creek in Orange County to Cyrils Drive in Osceola County.

Why is it important to Central Florida?

There is increasing demand for additional east-west routes to support the current needs of residents and businesses in Central Florida while preparing for planned growth in approved developments in southeast Orange and northeast Osceola counties.

The Osceola Parkway Extension would provide one solution to enhance mobility for the area’s fast-growing population and economy, improve connectivity to Orlando International Airport and relieve congestion on local roads.

How long has the Osceola Parkway Extension been in the planning process?

What is now known as the Osceola Parkway Extension has been in part of various regional planning efforts since before it was formally added to Osceola County’s Comprehensive Plan in 2005. Since then, the project has undergone several studies including the original Project Development & Environment study completed by the Osceola County Expressway Authority in 2017.

When did CFX begin its re-evaluation of the need to build the Osceola Parkway Extension?

When the Florida State Legislature created the Central Florida Expressway Authority it was required to incorporate unbuilt expressway projects located within Osceola County into the CFX 2040 Master Plan. In 2017, CFX began studying these projects to determine if they benefited the region and were possible to build.

The Osceola Parkway Extension met this threshold, so in 2018, CFX moved forward with a Project Development & Environment Re-evaluation study to refine the preferred alternative location for the road that was previously approved by the Osceola County Expressway Authority.

The current preferred alternative was approved by the CFX Governing Board in December 2019.

Since CFX is building the road, wouldn’t they own the land beneath it?

No, because Florida Statute allows for easements to build roads like the Osceola Parkway Extension, Osceola and Orange counties would remain the owners of the land, just as they have since it was set aside for conservation in 1994.

It should be noted that typically, CFX does purchase and own the land needed for a road. The Osceola Parkway Extension is unique because there is no viable alternative to build the road without touching conservation land.

The use of an easement allows for ownership of Split Oak Forest to remain with Orange and Osceola counties in perpetuity – just as intended when the land was set aside for conservation in 1994.

What is an easement?

Easements allow a property owner to give permission to someone else or another entity to use a portion of their property for a specific purpose. Easements are everywhere and help keep the peace between neighbors in communities.

What is the difference between an easement and a land swap?

In the case of the Osceola Parkway Extension, an easement would grant permission for CFX to use a portion of Split Oak Forest without taking ownership of the land away from Orange or Osceola counties. CFX will not own any land in Split Oak Forest.

A land swap request is quite different in that it would be a request for the counties to give up ownership of land in Split Oak Forest in exchange for property elsewhere. This does not apply to the Osceola Parkway Extension since the counties, not CFX, would maintain their ownership of all land in Split Oak Forest.

What is the process to obtain an easement through Split Oak Forest to construct the Osceola Parkway Extension?

Orange and Osceola counties, as owners of Split Oak Forest, must apply to Florida Communities Trust for the easement.

What is Florida Communities Trust and why do they have a say in this project?

Florida Communities Trust is a division of the State of Florida and provides funding to local governments seeking to purchase land for conservation, parks and greenways.
The funding needed for Orange and Osceola counties to purchase what is now known as Split Oak Forest came from this program. Since State funding was used to create Split Oak Forest, any easements through the property, like the proposed Osceola Parkway Extension, must be approved by the State of Florida through Florida Communities Trust.

Have members of the public had an opportunity for input on the location of the OPE?

Yes. Since 2017, nearly 2,000 members of the public attended meetings related to the Osceola Parkway Extension submitting almost 1,000 comments into the record. At the December 2019 Public Workshop, 61 percent of the comments received supported the preferred alternative.

What is a Project Development & Environment (PD&E) Study Re-evaluation?

A Project Development & Environment Study Re-evaluation is necessary when there may be potential changes to the design of the project. This allows for additional public involvement on the proposed design changes.

Since, design changes to the Osceola Parkway Extension PD&E were made to minimize impacts to conservation land and neighboring residences, CFX took the appropriate action to perform a PD&E Study Re-evaluation on the project.

Is the Osceola Parkway Extension PD&E Re-evaluation complete?

Yes. After numerous stakeholder and public meetings, the study team presented the recommended preferred alternative to the CFX board for their approval at their December 2019 meeting. This concluded the PD&E Study Re-evaluation. A written report is being finalized and will be posted to the study webpage once complete.

Proposed Donated Conservation Land

Osceola County Proposed Donated Land

The Central Florida Expressway Authority (CFX) held its public meeting on November 19, 2019 at Lake Nona Middle School with more than 400 attendees. Of the nearly 300 comments received by the end of the public comment period on November 30, 2019, 61% were in support of the Preferred Alternative.

Background:

The Osceola Parkway Extension has been identified as a need in several local, long-range plans and master plans. The former Osceola County Expressway Authority (OCX) completed a Project Development and Environment (PD&E) Study in May 2017 for the Osceola Parkway Extension and presented a recommended alternative.

CFX’s enabling legislation (Senate Bill 230, Ch. 2014-171) incorporated the parkway extension and other portions of the OCX 2040 Master Plan into the CFX 2040 Master Plan. In 2018, CFX completed a Concept, Feasibility and Mobility Study for the Osceola Parkway Extension and concluded the project is viable under CFX criteria. In July 2018, CFX officially began a re-evaluation of the OCX PD&E Study that included a recommended alternative. The input provided through the public outreach, including stakeholder meetings, site tours and advisory committee meetings, held during CFX’s Concept, Feasibility and Mobility Study have been a major component of CFX’s PD&E Study Re-evaluation. In addition, the study team has continued to conduct stakeholder meetings to gather further feedback and clarification in preparation for an alignment recommendation.

Osceola Parkway Extension History

  • 2005 – Osceola County Comprehensive Plan: New corridors around growth boundary
  • 2012 – Osceola County Expressway Authority (OCX): 2040 Master Plan. ETDM Programming Screen Summary Report published (ETDM No. 13789).
  • 2016 – CFX incorporated OCX master plan segments into CFX Master Plan.
  • 2017 – OCX completed the Osceola Parkway Extension PD&E Study and approved a Project Environmental Impact Report (PEIR).
  • March 2018 – CFX completed a Concept Feasibility and Mobility Study for the  Osceola Parkway Extension
  • July 2018 – CFX began PD&E Re-evaluation Study

The Central Florida Expressway Authority (CFX) is conducting a Project Development and Environment (PD&E) Re-evaluation Study for the proposed Osceola Parkway Extension. The study will look at a new expressway connection between State Road 417 near Boggy Creek Road in Orange County and the proposed Sunbridge Parkway in Osceola County.

The goals of the proposed 9-mile, limited-access facility include providing for additional east-west capacity within the project area, enhancing mobility of the area’s growing population and economy, relieving congestion on local roads, providing for the incorporation of transit options and promoting regional connectivity.

Stakeholder coordination continues as part of the Osceola Parkway Extension Project Development and Environment (PD&E) Study Re-evaluation.

Below are the two Split Oak Forest Wildlife and Environmental Area (SOFWEA) alternatives presented at a Lake Ajay Homeowners Association meeting November 15, 2018.

The Environmental Advisory Group (EAG) is comprised of representatives from environmental organizations, as well as local, state and federal agencies. The input regarding local needs, concerns and environmental impacts being provided by the EAG is crucial in the evaluation of the project corridor.

EAG Meeting Audio Recording:

The Project Advisory Group (PAG), comprised of stakeholders within the project corridor, is an important component of this study. The input regarding local needs, concerns and environmental impacts being provided by the PAG continues to be crucial in the evaluation of the project corridor.

PAG Meeting Audio Recording:

Additional Information

Property owners near a proposed transportation project often want to know an agency’s process for buying needed private property.

Central Florida Expressway Authority Right-of-Way Acquisition Policy.

For information gathered prior to the PD&E study phase, please visit the Osceola Parkway Extension Concept, Feasibility and Mobility Study page.

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