Casselberry businesses protest $63 million flyover

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CASSELBERRY, Fla. —

Construction on a $63 million flyover at State Road 436 and U.S. Highway 17-92 is supposed to start this year, but a group of business owners say it would lead commuters away from their stores.

They've brought in some big guns to stop the project.

"Stop the 17-92 flyover" is not a new message, but it is on new billboards and signs along S.R. 436.

The advertising is part of a revitalized effort by business owners, including Munmun Ahmed, to stop the project, which would be built next to her gas station.

"They are going to pass and they are never going to stop in here," Ahmed said.

The man who owns the Orlando Jai-Alai fronton started the group, which hired lawyers, traffic consultants and economists to propose an alternative project.

A lot of commuters along 17-92 want the flyover because it would ease congestion at the intersection.

"Just to avoid this whole intersection when you are coming down and go right over it would be awesome," Casselberry resident Bradley Weis said.

 Every day, 110,000 people drive through the intersection.

The protest group said its plan for the roads would ease congestion by widening roads, without building an elevated roadway.

Florida Department of Transportation officials said they may take another look at the project if the group can convince city and county officials its idea is better.

Both sides on the flyover controversy agree whatever happens, the state's money should stay in Casselberry.

"We can extend it a lane, we don't need the flyover and we can save millions of dollars," Ahmed said.

The group is holding a meeting next Monday at 7 p.m. at Orlando Jai-Alai.

The state is expected to break ground on the flyover this fall.