Neighbors share concerns over future Brightline trains going along 417

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — A decision that will impact transportation for decades in the state is now on the table here in Central Florida.

The Central Florida Expressway Authority Board is considering an agreement with Brightline Trains to allow access to the right-of-way along the 417 as it works to bring high-speed rail service from Orlando to Tamp, with a stop at Disney in between.

However, a decision has been pushed back to next month.

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Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer wanted the board members to have more time to go through the memorandum of understanding that’s on the table.

During Thursday’s meeting, the board heard from several groups that support the plan, but also from some who think the route needs to be changed.

Residents from the Hunter’s Creek community expressed concerns about noise, dust and an impact on property values, because the preferred route by Brightline goes along the 417 near thousands of homes in that community.

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Others would prefer it move along the 528 instead with a stop at the Convention Center.

Brightline said it’s willing to look at other options, but believes the 528 route would add an extra $1.1 billion to the cost of the project.

That’s money Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings said the county isn’t prepared to handle.

READ: Disney, Brightline mull where to put train stop at Disney Springs, sources say

That means other public or private money would have to come into play.

Jeff Deal

Jeff Deal,

I joined the Eyewitness News team as a reporter in 2006.

Adam Poulisse,

Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.