• Osceola County set to start construction of Poinciana Parkway


    OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. - Osceola County is about to start its largest road project in 20 years.

    On Thursday, the Osceola County Expressway Authority selected a Kissimmee firm to build the $130 million Poinciana Parkway.
    Annette Brown-Best said she has been waited 10 years for the Expressway Authority to pick a company to build a road out of the heart of Poinciana.   

    "It wasn't a priority. Now it's a priority," said Brown-Best.

    The road will create a shorter route to U.S. Highway 17-92 from Cypress Parkway and Marigold Avenue. Right now the limited number of roads out of Poinciana can make for a slow exit from the community.

    "Because once you get in an accident on Cypress Parkway, the numbers are outrageous on how people are not able to get through there," said Brown-Best.

    Keith Laytham said his family will be using the road at least 10 times a week.

    "And we're just one family out of 47,000 people living in the heart of Poinciana," said Laytham.

    Using the road will cost drivers either $1.75 or $2.25 depending on how much of the parkway drivers use. And the toll booths won't take cash; drivers will need an EPASS or SunPass.

    "We decided early on that we were never going to collect any money. It takes a whole layer of bureaucracy we don't need," said Atlee Mercer of the Osceola County Expressway Authority.

    Brown-Best said she doesn't mind because a shorter, faster commute will  save money.
    "If you spend a $1.50 in tolls, how much are you really spending in gas at $4 a gallon?" said Brown-Best.
    The county expects construction on the project to start in December. It is expected to take about two-and-a-half years to complete.

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