Money collected for C.R. 419 widening in Seminole might go elsewhere

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SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. —

Seminole County taxpayers put up the money to widen a 2 1/2-mile stretch of County Road 419, but now county leaders are thinking about putting the project on hold.

They may use the $18 million targeted for CR 419 on a different project.

CR 419 is likely stay to just two lanes, at least for now, between Snowhill Road and the Orange County line. It's not because the county is short on cash. Seminole still has the millions for the project that it raised through its penny tax.

"What we haven't seen in the growth in that area with the economy and the other reason is that the traffic counts have remained relatively flat," said Brett Blackadar with the Seminole County engineering department.

A portion of CR 419 is four lanes, but eventually drivers have to merge into two lanes.

"This is still a high crash corridor; how do you plan to address those safety concerns considering you are stopping this project altogether?" WFTV's Racquel Asa asked Blackadar.

"That money that we are moving from the widening project, we're moving $1 million in a safety project. These will be interim projects until someday down the road the project may be widened," said Blackadar.

Blackadar said a safety consultant was looking at CR 419, and those interim projects could include rumble strips, additional turn lanes and pedestrian crossings.

County officials said with money freed up, some of the cash can be diverted to areas like the intersections in downtown Oviedo, which are in need of $80 million worth of improvements.

The county plans to hold a public hearing about the project switch on March 26.