The largest section of Wekiva Parkway will open on Monday

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Florida. – Traveling between Sanford and Mt. Dora is about to get easier.

Starting Monday, the Florida Department of Transportation is preparing to open its longest section of the Wekiva Parkway. The section stretches for over six miles on a new elevated carriageway. Drivers can enter or exit State Road 429 near Camp Challenge Road in Lake County and via ramps west of Longwood Markham Road in Seminole County.

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This section also includes several wildlife crossing bridges to help keep drivers and animals safe in the Wekiva River Basin.

Estate agent Dan Goodman lives near Heathrow and sells homes in the area. He said traveling during construction was frustrating.

“It’s been so crowded, crowded. It was really slow. It was a setback,” Goodman said.

Goodman said he hopes when the new toll road opens it will relieve traffic on State Route 46.

“It’s been a bit boring, so we’re excited to see the change and finally get those roads for us,” he said.

The new section comes more than six years after FDOT opened the first section of the $1.6 billion project. The 25-mile toll road will complete a ring road around the western half of the Orlando metro area.

It is also the first in Central Florida to use fully electronic tolls.

Goodman said as the region develops, the boardwalk will help connect more communities and make travel more convenient.

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“It will be easier to have a larger living space. If someone wants to commute, it will no longer be a problem and only solution, like I-4,” Goodman said. “It will open up a lot more traffic opportunities.”

The FDOT said all of Wekiva Parkway is expected to open in 2023.

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