ROADS/BRIDGES: FDOT, expressway authority clash over 408 extension

July 15, 2016

Differing views on how best to alleviate traffic on S.R. 50 have put the two road agencies at odds

As traffic worsens in east Orange County, Fla., the region's two biggest road-building agencies are quarreling over how to address the problem.

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), which is currently widening a 5-mile stretch of State Road 50 between Dean Road and Old Cheney Highway, won't agree to let the Central Florida Expressway Authority use its right-of-way to extend State Road 408 to State Road 520, a project with an estimated cost of at least $630 million.

Even with the widening, many sections of S.R. 50 will be gridlocked by 2030, according to a 2015 study by HDR Inc., an engineering consultant firm. The study concluded that the S.R. 408 extension along S.R. 50 should be studied to compare benefits.

But FDOT believes the S.R. 50 widening will be enough to handle traffic for years to come.

FDOT also said building a local expressway toll road on the state's land would create a "series of issues for both parties," FDOT spokesman Steve Olson told the Orlando Sentinel.

Scott Boyd, vice-chairmen for the expressway authority, said it would move forward with early planning for the 408 extension and that he was optimistic about reaching agreement with FDOT.

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