Major $160M road project, Poinciana Parkway, to be built



OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. - A major project in Osceola County is finally moving forward after being in the works for the past 20 years.

The $160 million Poinciana Parkway will finally be built, making it easier to get to Interstate 4.

WFTV's Nancy Alvarez went to Poinciana on Tuesday and found why many people said this will save the struggling area.

Right now, a stretch of 17-92 is one of the main ways to connect to Poinciana, but soon trees will be gone, and stores like Publix will be moving to different sites because of a roadway that's been desperately needed.

Cara Laytham is a working mom with little time to waste, which is why she said her commute is so frustrating.

"Some nights I'm in the car just yelling at traffic because it's so bad," she said.

Every week, Laytham drives between her home in Poinciana to her job at Winnie Palmer Hospital in Orlando. Her commute often takes up three hours of her day.

"If you've ever driven out of Poinciana in the morning to try and get out of here, it's just a bottleneck. It takes 20-30 minutes just to get out of Poinciana," she said.

That's going to change for the almost 60,000 people who live there. After years of delays, work will soon begin on the Poinciana Parkway, a 9.6-mile road that will create easier access to I-4 and 17-92.

When the developer of Poinciana pulled out of what was supposed to be a privately funded road, the project was in limbo. Now a mix of loans, funding from Osceola and Polk counties and land contributions from the developer will cover the $160 million project.

Realtor John Rivera said the road will have a big long-term impact.

"You're going to see an increase in value because of the convenience of the road in and out of Poinciana. So, Poinciana, the way they're headed is only going to be up," said Rivera.

The goal is to break ground on the project later this year and have entire roadway operating by 2015.