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Oviedo widening project expected to ease confusion on SR 434

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OVIEDO, Fla. - Navigating Oviedo can be a nightmare for those who don't know the area, so officials hope widening one of the city's main roads will help.

State Road 434 between Franklin Street and Smith Street is set to be widened in the first phase of construction, but Channel 9's Racquel Asa found the biggest chunk of money spent on the project will go toward clearing the way for construction.

Signs in the area point to many different areas and it's hard for drivers to navigate without the help of GPS devices, according to Channel 9's Racquel Asa.

"It's almost impossible to tell people, but they seem to find it with MapQuest, thank goodness," said Dawn Blackmore of the Pet Bow-Tique.

But navigation is expected to become much more clear once the state spends $23 million on the first phase of the widening project.

But when Channel 9 looked through the project details, Asa learned buying property for the project costs $18 million, six times more than it'll cost to build the first phase of the project.

Oviedo already decided to give up its land at its downtown fire station and community center for $2 million, with plans to build a bigger one before the project pushes them out.

"It's going to be built by Boston Hill Park just north of Mitchell Hammock Road and Alafaya Trail," said Oviedo Mayor Dominic Persampiere.

When Asa asked the state how many properties it still needs to buy for the project, they said they're still negotiating with 17.

So far, the state plan on getting all those properties secured by the end of next year.