NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. — One of Central Florida's most dangerous roads will finally become safer. State Road 415 is a popular cut through for people to get to New Smyrna Beach.
The state wants to widen the two-lane road. It's a project that was postponed several times due to money issues. The widening is expected to alleviate traffic and save lives.
State Road 415 is considered one of the most dangerous roads in Central Florida. Florida state troopers said they responded to 115 crashes on rural State Road-415 in the last two years, and five of them were fatal.
State transportation officials have finally found fuding to solve the two-lane safety hazard and said they intend to widen the highway to four lanes from Acorn Lake Road just northwest of Deltona to State Road 46 near Sanford. That is a 27-mile stretch.
The Florida Department of Transportation recently allocated the final $6 million needed to get the project moving. The total cost is $52 million.
Business owners hope the road expansion will yield more profits.
"Especially for a small business like mine, this is great. During construction time and when it's all completed," said business owner Martin Saumur.
Saumur is on State Road 415 for hours on end, waving in customers. He runs "My Diggity Dogs" in Osteen from the side of the road.
"There are not a lot of traffic lights here," he said.
Drivers WFTV spoke with complained that making left turns on State Road 415 is very difficult, especially during rush hour when traffic is thick. They can find themselves waiting upwards of five minutes for an opening.
However, Buddy Watson doesn't like the idea one bit.
"It's too busy now. Four-lane it and it'll be like Interstate 4," Watson said. "This is supposed to be the country. This isn't going to be the country no more."
Construction is slated to begin in 2012. The only roadblock now is getting the governor and the legislature to approve the project in March.
Local leaders say that shouldn't be a problem.