Florida,  Habitat and Ecosystem Conservation,  Quality of Life Benefits of Transportation

Florida’s Wekiva Parkway Project Cited as Example in Social Responsibility

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) provides a safe transportation system while preserving the quality of our environment and communities. The Wekiva Parkway is an example of how to protect the environment, engineer safety and enhance mobility in one project.

The $1.6 billion Wekiva Parkway project is a joint construction effort between FDOT and the Central Florida Expressway Authority (CFX). With extensive population growth and millions of tourists visiting annually, Central Florida needed to complete the 25-mile Wekiva Parkway to relieve the congested regional road network and to finish an outer beltway.

The Wekiva Parkway project is guided by the 2004 Wekiva Parkway and Protection Act, which mandated environmental protections previously unseen in Florida. Under that legislation, FDOT and CFX bought 3,400 acres of conservation land for development, built 1.5 miles of wildlife bridges, elevated the parkway to reduce vehicle collisions with wildlife, and limited the number of interchanges in the environmentally sensitive area. The project also includes 10 miles of trails that will link to the regional trail network and local access roads that are not tolled. The project has succeeded in providing a mobility solution with a true “parkway” feel, while also helping to protect the environment surrounding the Wekiva River.

The Wekiva Parkway project was also bestowed an award by the International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association; the 2019 Toll Excellence Award for Social Responsibility for helping to protect the wildlife and other natural resources surrounding the Wekiva River. Much of the planning and cooperative work was done during development of the Wekiva Parkway, making this project a model in Florida and the nation. Construction on FDOT’s sections is currently underway with completion slated by early 2023.

FDOT is dedicated to protecting Florida’s unique environmental landscape while building a modern transportation infrastructure of the future.

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