Residents claim Wekiva Parkway project is forcing them out

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APOPKA, Fla. —

The Orlando-Orange County Expressway Authority is getting ready to build the first sections of Wekiva Parkway in Apopka.

The first leg would connect US 441 and Kelly Park Road, but some say the new road is pushing people out.

Vicky Davis and her stallion Ranson will soon have to find a new home.

For nearly 10 years, they've lived at Bay Hill Equestrian along with 42 other horses.

But a new $500 million toll road, meant to relieve traffic for drivers, is coming straight through their farm and because Davis leases the land, she doesn't have much to say.

"I don't want it to have to change," said Davis, "I can't afford to buy my own place so I lease. It's the best I can do."

The section of Wekiva Parkway would go through a majority of the 60 acres. Once the road is built three-fourths of the farm will be gone.

So far, 60 percent of the project is designed, which means the Expressway Authority can start buying land the build the road.

"Now we're actually designing those details of the specifics of where those things will be and how it will be built," said Wekiva Parkway Spokesperson Mary Brooks.

The rest of the design will consist of working out differences with land owners who own property in the toll road's path.

"We're early in that process of reviewing what the potential impacts are based on where the design in now," Brooks said.

Unfortunately, Davis and Ranson don't have that option.

The section of Wekiva Parkway built by the Expressway Authority will open by 2016.

The authority will hold a public meeting on the design Thursday at 6:00 p.m. at Apopka High School.