Site Navigation
Alabama
Florida
Georgia
Louisiana
Mississippi
North Carolina
South Carolina
Tennessee
 
 

Orlando @ AARoads

Lake Eola Fountain to the east of Downtown Orlando. Photo taken February 18, 2008.

Much of the Orlando economy is based upon tourism and the major theme parks that call the area home. These include Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando, Sea World, etc. Additionally International Drive and the area Convention Centers bring a bounty of visitors to the area along with the tropical type climate that appeals to winter snowbirds.

Before 1950, Orlando was not much different from other wintering locations along the Dixie Highway including Sanford, Winter Park, DeLand. Expansion of the military operations at McCoy and PineCastle Air Force Bases in conjunction with a missile program based in Orlando began the inexorable growth that continues today. As the military presence and role in the local economy decreased, tourism starting with the opening of Walt Disney World in southwest Orange County, took over as the main conduit of money making in central Florida. This trend continues today with tens of thousands of new homes continuing to be added to the metro.


Guides:
Osceola - East
Orange - East
Seminole - East
Seminole - West
Orange - West
Osceola - West

Interstate 4

Interstate 4 travels generally north-south through the Orlando metropolitan area, providing the only untolled freeway for area residents, tourists and through traffic. The busy freeway serves the resort areas including Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando and Sea World from the Osceola County line northward into Orlando. This stretch stays busy well into the night time hours. Further north, I-4 passes just west of the Orlando central business district. The winding stretch north from Downtown Orlando sees variable speed limits that default to 50 miles per hour during normal traffic conditions.

Beyond Orlando, I-4 continues to Winter Park and Eatonville to enter Seminole County through the suburban cities of Altamonte Springs and the county seat of Sanford. I-4 exits Seminole across western fringes of Lake Monroe for DeBary, DeLand and Deltona.

Interstate 4 was completed in 1965 through Orlando. Beltway plans soon followed, gaining momentum as Interstate 4 became more and more congested in the mid-1970s and mid-1980s when the metro population surpassed 1,000,000.2 Overall the freeway carries six lanes with some sections as wide as eight lanes with the addition of auxiliary lanes.

A plan to add HOT lanes (Express 400) for Interstate 4 through the Orlando area was touted around 2000 but never built. Those plans were replaced with the I-4 Ultimate Project. Totaling $2.3 billion and stretching 21 miles from south of Florida 435 (Exit 75) to north of Florida 434 (Exit 94), this work adds four express toll lanes along the median of Interstate 4 and includes the reconstruction of 15 interchanges. Construction runs between early 2015 and 2021.


Guides:
North
South

Florida's Turnpike / State Road 91

Florida's Turnpike opened from south Orlando to Yeehaw Junction (SR 60) in Osceola County on July 17, 1963 and northward to I-75 in Sumter County on July 24, 1964. The toll road provides a long distance route north to Ocala and Gainesville and south to Fort Lauderdale and Miami. The Turnpike mainline runs 312 miles overall, angling southeast from Wildwood to Oakland, Winter Garden Ocoee and Southwest Orlando to exit Orange County via Kissimmee and St. Cloud. In addition to the Sunpass electronic tolling, a ticketed system for cash-paying drivers remains in use along the Turnpike south of St. Cloud to Exit 47. Ramp tolls and a mainline plaza in Lake County collect tolls from motorists northward.

The turnpike doubles as a commuter route through Orlando, and because of the added traffic load, portions of SR 91 were widened. This includes the March 2008 completed eight-lane expansion project between SR 528 and Interstate 4 and a 13-lane portion between the Western Beltway stack interchange and SR 408 west end completed by November 2010.



Guides:
East - Exits 2 to 10A
East - Exits 10B to 23
West - Exits 20 to 10A
West - Exits 9 to SR 91

Holland East-West Expressway

Florida 408 Toll was constructed originally as a bypass to the congested Florida 50 (Colonial Drive) through the city of Orlando. Extensions were later added in the west and eastbound directions as growth expanded Orlando outward. The most recent extension ties the East West Expressway with Florida's Turnpike at Ocoee. Further extension of the road is being studied for both ends.

Toll plazas along the East West Expressway were converted from conventional cash collection to include open road tolling lanes through the mid-2000s. This included the replacement of the Holland East Main Toll Plaza with split plazas (Conway East and Conway West) completed in September 2009. Other projects undertaken between 2003 and 2013 widened Florida 408 and reconfigured several interchanges from Florida's Turnpike east to Chickasaw Trail. This includes ten-lane portions.

A prior east end of Florida 408 tied the East West Expressway into the Central Florida Greeneway (Florida 417). When SR 408 was extended east, the curved portion to SR 417 was renumbered as SR 4080, an unsigned designation. The former SR 408 mainline provided movements from east to north and south to west between the two toll roads. Work completed between October 2010 and late 2012 added direct flyovers between SR 408 and SR 417, eliminating the need for SR 4080. The former East-West Expressway mainline, including the diamond interchange with Valencia College Lane, was removed upon completion of the new ramps to the east. The right of way was repurposed for a new at-grade frontage road leading southwest from Valencia College Lane to the Chickasaw Trail half-diamond interchange (Exit 17).


Guides:
East / West

John Land Apopka Expressway

Maitland Boulevard

Florida 414 is a 15.84-mile route traveling east from Apopka to Maitland. The state road follows the tolled John Land Apopka Expressway to the west of U.S. 441 (OBT) and Maitland Boulevard, a controlled-access arterial route to the east of OBT.

Maitland Boulevard varies between four and six lanes with access restricted to at-grade intersections and three interchanges. Sound barriers line the arterial west of I-4. The single point urban interchange (SPUI) with SR 434 (Forest City Road) opened in the mid-2000s.

Florida 414 Toll extends west from a partial cloverleaf interchange with U.S. 441 (OBT), south of Forest City to OBT west of Apopka The toll road initially opened west from OBT to Ocoee Apopka Road (CR 437A) on May 15, 2009. Work followed to realign Daniel Webster Western Beltway (SR 429) westward to a new alignment tieing into SR 414 west of CR 437A. A tri-level stack interchange was constructed where SR 429 originally paralleled Ocoee Apopka Road. The flyover from the Western Beltway south to Apopka Expressway east opened on March 15, 2012.

Completion of the John Land Apopka Expressway (SR 414) followed on January 19, 2013. This portion doubles as the SR 429 mainline leading north to the future Wekiva Parkway north to Mt. Dora and Sanford. The toll road ends at a half-built SPUI with an access road linking OBT and CR 437 (Plymouth Sorrento Road).


Guides:
North - Exits 2 to 33
North - Exits 34 to 55
South - Exits 54 to 34
South - Exits 30 to I-4

Central Florida Greeneway

Seminole Expressway

The beltway system of Orlando is tolled because the federal funding system that paid for 90% of a highway's cost ended by the mid 1980s. This led to the Orange Orlando Expressway Authority (OOCEA), Seminole County Expressway Authority, and Florida's Turnpike Authority overtaking the role in funding the project. A longtime chairman of the OOCEA, James B. Greene, was a huge advocate for construction of both Florida 417 Toll and 429 Toll. His name bears the Central Florida Greeneway section of beltway.2

Opened from SR 408 northward in 1988, the initial six mile eastern beltway faced staunch opposition from landowners and environmentalists. Offsetting opposition, the Expressway Authority donated money to preserve lands in the Econlockhatchee and Wekiva River areas to augment the land taken for the new toll road. 90 houses were removed for the project.1

The southeastern beltway opened in 1990 at a cost of $72 million between SR 408 and SR 528. Curvature along this stretch resulted from land developers pushing to accommodate future growth.1 The Lee Vista Boulevard interchange (Exit 27) did not open until 2000.

Extending SR 417 southwest, the 22-mile Southern Connector opened in 1993 at a cost of $273 million between Osceola County line and Florida 528 Toll. Developers busy planning the large scale communities of Lake Nona, Meadow Woods, Hunters Creek sought the roadway but also made building the road difficult. Rising costs associated with land acquisition and court battles resulted in the cancellation of a Florida's Turnpike interchange and a premature end of the road shy of Interstate 4. Two new interchanges were added by December 2009 at Moss Park Road ($18.4-million) and Innovation Way ($14.7-million).3

Northward, the Seminole County Expressway opened in 1994 at a cost of $176 million between University Boulevard (Exit 37) and U.S. 17 & 92. The 1.5-mile bridge over Lake Jesup was the most expensive option chosen of either a span or bypass of the lake. Florida's Turnpike took over this portion of SR 417 after Seminole County voters turned down a sales tax increase for the highway.1

Work continued to the south when the six-mile Southern Connector Extension, between Interstate 4 and Orange County, opened in 1996 at a cost of $153 million. This segment was planned to connect with Interstate 4 at Florida 536 initially, but redirected southward at the urging of Disney World and other Osceola County landowners. $70 million in donations from private land owners help convince Florida's Turnpike to turn the roadway south to meet Interstate 4. Later Disney built Celebration south of Florida 417 Toll.1

Issues arose with skyrocketing costs associated with land acquisition in the Sanford area for the final portion of SR 417. This led to Congressman John Mica making a deal to land federal money to secure building of the northernmost segment of Florida 417 Toll. Opened in 2002, the five-mile Missing Link was completed at a cost of $265 million.

The mid-1990s also saw the cancellation of the Wekiva Parkway segment of Florida 429 Toll due to rising costs. As originally envisioned, the SR 429 portion of the beltway would tie in with the SR 417 north end, with an interchange modification costing upwards of $100 million.1 With the Wekiva Parkway moving forward in 2012, future work will add a flyover from SR 417 north to I-4 west as part of the interchange upgrade slated for 2019.


Guides:
North
South

Daniel Webster Western Beltway

Wekiva Parkway

Western Beltway Part A is an 11-mile segment of highway between Florida 50 and U.S. 441 opened in 2000 at a cost of $237 million. Apopka, Ocoee, and Winter Garden were advocates for building the Western Beltway. State Senator Daniel Webster helped secure funding for the project and is why the highway bears his name. Originally the Part A of the beltway was to travel on an alignment east of Ocoee. However Winter Garden and Ocoee instead opted to have the toll road travel between their respective cities. Rapid growth of all three cities followed the 2000-completion of Florida 429 Toll.1

Part C opened in 2002 at a cost of $120 million. The four-mile stretch opened between Florida's Turnpike and Orange County 435, including the $50-million four-level stack with the turnpike mainline. The stack is one of the most expensive interchanges ever constructed in Florida, rising to a height of 80 feet. The interchange was built by OOCEA but paid for by Florida's Turnpike.1

Part C extension opened December 2005. The 13-mile stretch between U.S. 192 and Orange County 435 cost $449 million and was jointly built by OOCEA and Florida's Turnpike. Planning for the toll road dated back more then 15 years and thus development ideas coincided with the road concept. Included is the 23,000 acre Horizon West community and Disney's Western Way. Disney donated $7.5 million and 200 acres for the project and received an interchange. The west entrance opened to Disney in April 2007.1

The Southwest Connector opened at 7 am on December 8, 2006. It meets Interstate 4 two miles south of where the Central Greeneway begins. Costs of this segment were included with those associated with the Part C extension.1

The Wekiva Parkway, initially estimated to cost $1.2 billion, will complete the Orlando beltway system between Apopka and Sanford. Canceled in 1994 and revived in 2003,2 design work on the 25-mile toll road commenced in 2012. Landowners, officials, and environmentalists compromised with the Wekiva Parkway legislation, requiring land preservation and building an elevated road with few interchanges.1 A cooperative effort between the Central Florida Expressway Authority, Florida Department of Transportation and Florida's Turnpike Enterprise will construct the roadway at a cost of $1.6-billion. Construction of the Wekiva Parkway commences between U.S. 441 (Orange Blossom Trail) at Apopka to Kelly Park Road near the Lake County line (Segments 1A and 1B) in 2015. This segment ties into Segment 2B, including a planned tri-level stack with SR 453 (Mt. Dora connector), planned for 2017.


Guides:
--

Daniel Webster Western Beltway

Construction of the John Land Apopka Expressway (SR 414) around the south and west sides of Apopka included the realignment of SR 429 away from the Daniel Webster Western Beltway to accommodate the future Wekiva Parkway north to Lake County. Opened on January 19, 2013, the 3.7-mile portion west of Apopka redirected SR 429 north along side SR 414 west to a temporary end at U.S. 441 (Orange Blossom Trail). The former SR 429 mainline along the Webster Beltway to U.S. 441 west of Downtown Apopka was redesignated as Florida 451 Toll.

A 0.85-mile extension of SR 451 ties the north end of the Daniel Webster Western Beltway with Vick Road at Old Dixie Way. The $2.2-million project4 was completed in August 2013.


Guides:
--

Mount Dora Connector

SR 453 is the designation slated for a 1.4-mile toll road spurring northwest from the planned Wekiva Parkway (SR 429) to SR 46, east of Round Lake Road. A trumpet interchange will tie the west end of the expressway with SR 46. Eastward, a tri-level stack interchange will be built near the Orange County line with SR 429. No exits will be constructed between the end points. Work, running between 18 and 24 months, is scheduled for the new road in 2017.


Guides:
East - Exits 1 to 16
East - Exit 20 to SR A1A
West - SR A1A to Exit 16
West - Exit 13 to I-4

Martin Andersen Beachline Expressway

Formerly the Bee Line Expressway, the 41-mile long Martin Andersen Beachline Expressway joins Interstate 4 and Orlando with Cocoa and the Space Coast. Construction on SR 528 began in early 1966, with the expressway mainline opened July 14, 1967. It tied into an upgraded Sand Lake Road west from near Orlando International Airport (MCO) to Interstate 4 and east to Florida 520.

Opening of Walt Disney World in 1971 followed plans to extend the Bee Line Expressway westward directly to Interstate 4 and east into Brevard County. The western extension consisted of two segments, McCoy Road / Jetport Drive to Orange Blossom Trail (OBT), and its connection with Florida's Turnpike, and OBT west to I-4. Work kicked off in May 1971 on the initial segment west from Jetport Drive. The four-mile section opened in late July 1973. The portion west to I-4 followed in December 1973.5

The eastern extension forked with a two-lane roadway (SR 405) spurring northeast to Orsino Causeway to serve the NASA tourist center and the mainline southeast to Bennett Causeway for Port Canaveral, Cocoa Beach, Patrick AFB and the southern gates of Cape Canaveral. Work on the 5.3-mile long SR 405 leg commenced in December 1971, while earth moving was well underway along the extension east to Cocoa. SR 528 in Brevard County was completed on February 16, 1974.5


Guides:
North
South

Dixie Highway

Although pretty much lost to time now, U.S. 17 and 92 represent the historic Dixie Highway through Seminole County. Older sections of the road are now relegated to local street status, especially through the College Park vicinity while remaining main line portions consist of multi-lane commercial arterial leading north from Orlando (SR 50) to Sanford in Seminole County.

U.S. 17 & 92 share an alignment for a significant distance, starting in Auburndale within Polk County and ending in DeLand in Volusia County. Much of the route carries four lanes, with the exception of segments from near Poinciana to Kissimmee and the drive along Lake Monroe west from Sanford to Interstate 4. Locals refer to the combination as simply "17-92".


Guides:
North
South

Orange Blossom Trail

U.S. 441 doubles as Orange Blossom Trail from Lake County southward to Main Street in Kissimmee. Between U.S. 192 (Vine Street) in Kissimmee and Florida 50 (West Colonial Drive) in Orlando, U.S. 441 shares pavement with U.S. 17 & 92. Orange Blossom Trail is often abbreviated as OBT when referenced by area residents and media.

Much of OBT consists of busy commercial arterial, especially from the city of Orlando southward to Hunters Creek and the Osceola County seat. Northwest from Orlando, the route varies with commercial and industrial frontage through Fairvilla and Lockhart to Apopka. Once in Apopka, U.S. 441 bisects Downtown on the western push toward Mt. Dora and Eustis in Lake County. All of the route carries at least four lanes, with six lane portions around Mount Dora in Lake County and through southern Orange and northern Osceola Counties.

OBT generally serves as a local or commuter route throughout the Orlando metropolitan area. Bypassed by the John Land Apopka Expressway (SR 414) when it was completed in 2013, further through traffic will leave U.S. 441 when Wekiva Parkway (SR 429) opens northward to Mt. Dora with SR 453.


Guides:
East
West

Colonial Drive

Florida 50 follows Colonial Drive throughout greater Orlando. The state road links the city with Ocoee, Winter Garden, Oakland, Clermont and Minneola in Lake County to the west. East of City Beautiful, SR 50 connects Orlando with unincorporated sections of Orange County including Union Park, Bithlo, and Christmas ahead of Titusville and the Space Coast. The entire alignment of Florida 50 carries at least four lanes, with some sections expanded to six lanes.

Much of Florida 50 is at-grade, though a single point urban interchange (SPUI) opened with Florida 436 (Semoran Boulevard) by March 2010. The state road bisects the city, including a busy stretch to the north of Downtown. As such, traffic issues along the route during the 1950s and 60s led to development of the East-West Expressway, and its eventual extensions, to provide relief. U.S. 17 & 92 overlaps with SR 50 (Colonial Drive) between Orange Blossom Trail and Orlando Avenue.


Other Orlando State Roads

Orlando County Roads

Disney Area Roads

Miscellaneous Orlando Area Road Photos

Hiawassee Road
Hiawassee Road southbound on the approach to Apopka Boulevard (unsigned Orange County 424). Hiawassee Road consists of a multi-lane divided highway southward from U.S. 441 (Orange Blossom Trail) at Piedmont-Wekiwa Road. Photo taken 02/02/08.
Apopka Boulevard shadows U.S. 441 to the south between Alabama Avenue in downtown Apopka and Beggs Road at Lockhart. Unsigned Orange County 424 emerges from obscurity near the transition into Florida 424 at Forest City Road (Florida 434). Construction of the John Land Apopka Expressway however will sever the alignment at U.S. 441 due to the building of a new interchange with OBT. Photo taken 02/02/08.
Hiawassee Road crosses paths with Florida 414 (Apopka Expressway) near the 2007-established Wekiva High School. A single point urban interchange (SPUI), shown here under construction, joins the four-lane arterial and toll road. The interchange opened when the SR 414 mainline did east from CR 437A to OBT on March 15, 2009. Photos taken 02/02/08.
Continuing south from future Florida 414, Hiawassee Road continues through residential areas to Beggs Road. Beggs Road travels west from unsigned Orange County 424 (Apopka Boulevard) at Lockhart to a nearby end at Lakeville Road. Photo taken 02/02/08.
Beggs Road
Beggs Road travels 2.25 miles west from Rose Avenue at Edgewater Drive to Lakeville Road in unincorporated Orange County. Beggs Road briefly carries Unsigned Orange County 424 between Edgewater Drive and Apopka Boulevard, passing underneath U.S. 441 in the process. Pictured here is the west end of Beggs Road at Lakeville Road. Photo taken 02/02/08.
Lakeville Road
Lakeville Road northbound between Beggs Road and the 2009-opened John Land Apopka Expressway (SR 414). Photo taken 02/02/08.
A SPUI connects SR 414 with Hiawassee Roads just east of Lakeville Road and south of Piedmont. The toll road mainline and ramps associated with Exit 8, shown here under construction, pass over Lakeville Road without access. Photos taken 02/02/08.
Lakeville Road travels one mile north from Florida 414 Toll to its end at Unsigned Orange County 424 (Apopka Boulevard). Apopka Boulevard north leads to downtown Apopka while south heads toward unincorporated Piedmont. Photo taken 02/02/08.
Keene Road
Sheeler Road south ends at the westerly turn onto Keene Road in south Apopka. A set of flashers and warning signs direct motorists onto Keene Road west toward both SR 414 east and Clarcona Road (Orange County 435). Photo taken 02/02/08.
Keene Road takes over from where Sheeler Road ends in south Apopka ahead of the eastbound on-ramp for SR 414 to Maitland. Photo taken 02/02/08.
Construction showing the eventual wye interchange (Exit 6) between SR 414 west and Keene Road. Photos taken 02/02/08.
A set of mast-arm supported traffic lights govern the movements of Keene Road west at Orange County 435 (Clarcona Road). Clarcona Road leads north into downtown Apopka as Park Avenue. Southward the vastly unsigned county road transitions into Apopka-Vineland Road en route to Pine Hills and Florida 438 (Silver Star Road). Photo taken 02/02/08.
Apopka Boulevard (Unsigned Orange County 424)
Unsigned Orange County 424 (Apopka Boulevard) north at Sheeler Road in Apopka. Sheeler Road travels south to Keene Road ahead of SR 414 and north to U.S. 441 (Orange Blossom Trail) and Florida 436 (Semoran Boulevard). Photo taken 02/02/08.

Sources:

  1. "Drivers, rejoice: Last leg of Western Beltway open." Orlando Sentinel, December 9, 2006
  2. "Building the beltway." Orlando Sentinel, January 30, 2006
  3. "Expressway Authority Announces Opening of New Moss Park Interchange Ramp." Orlando-Orange County Expressway Authority (OOCEA), press release. December 3, 2009.
  4. "Apopka will get quicker connection to 429 with Vick Road project." Orlando Sentinel, October 10, 2012.
  5. "Building a Community - The History of the Orlando-Orange County Expressway Authority." Shofner, Dr. Jerrell H., Orlando-Orange County Expressway Authority.

Page Updated July 7, 2014.