Officials at the Florida Department of Transportation say they are looking into a project that could help alleviate traffic on a road in the attractions area that many locals say they try to avoid.
At the Orange-Osceola County line, residents and business owners say State Road 535 is jammed with vehicles for much of the day.
“It’s great for business, but personally getting to work every day makes it difficult,” said Daine Erickson, who owns Bigfoot Axe Throwers.
What You Need To Know
- FDOT officials say they are considering adding an extra lane on SR-535 at the Orange-Osceola county line
- Data show that an estimated 53,000 vehicles used SR-535 before the pandemic
- Experts say the project will address future traffic demands on SR-535
Erickson and his family started the business, which is located off SR-535, a year and a half ago.
“We were looking for a location that was close to Disney and the resorts like that,” he said.
Officials say that some 53,000 vehicles used SR-535 before COVID-19 hit.
While that number dipped during the pandemic, experts say it is starting to tick back up as more tourists return to Central Florida.
“It is crazy the amount of people that come up and down this road all day long,” said Erickson. “It’s just back-to-back typically.”
That’s why the officials at FDOT say they are looking at potentially making changes to SR-535, from US-192 to north of World Center Drive.
A recent study found that SR-535 needs an extra travel lane in both directions, intersection improvements, and a separated bike path and sidewalk.
The goal of the 2.2-mile project, according to FDOT, is to “accommodate future projected traffic demand and improve safety.”
“Obviously there’s going to be more commercial projects around here that are going to happen, and they’re going to just need to (add extra lanes),” said Erickson.
FDOT has $5.2 million set aside for design, but the construction portion of the project isn’t currently funded.
FDOT officials did not give a timetable for when work might begin.