Help shape transportation solutions for the community

Commissioner Fred Hawkins Jr.

By Fred Hawkins Jr.

Osceola County is a thriving community whose population continues to grow each year.

As many of us have experienced, that growth also brings increased congestion on our roadways. To address this growing concern, the Central Florida Expressway Authority (CFX) is taking a fresh look at four corridors for possible expansion.

Commissioner Fred Hawkins Jr.

The agency is seeking public input on the proposed corridor alternatives for the Poinciana Parkway Extension / Interstate 4 Connector, Southport Connector Expressway, Northeast Connector Expressway and Osceola Parkway Extension.

I encourage each of you to help shape these transportation solutions for our community. The last kickoff public meeting will be held Thursday, Oct. 5, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the cafeteria at Lake Nona High School, 12500 Narcoossee Road, Orlando. Parking for the meeting will be off the Weldon Boulevard entrance to the school.

With our future at stake, gatherings such as this provide a unique opportunity for each of us to weigh in on the various alternatives being considered, and to get our questions and concerns addressed.

Together these corridors would total nearly 60 miles of new expressway that could relieve some of our congestion problems, as well as make it easier for you and I to get to work, school and other important destinations in our lives. The corridors, if they move forward, also would help us prepare for the projected future growth of our population and economy.

I’d like to thank the nearly 140 citizens who took part in this week’s Kickoff Public Meeting in St. Cloud for the Central Florida Expressway Authority’s Concept, Feasibility and Mobility studies. It was the second such opportunity for our community members to be heard on this subject, with a total of nearly 200 people taking part so far. We provided valuable input that the study teams will soon include in their more detailed, comparative evaluations. They will look closely at how these alternatives stack up against each other, and recommend which ones should move forward for further consideration.

CFX will again share the latest information with the community after the New Year, with the studies wrapping up next spring.

Thank you for taking the time to be part of this important process.

Fred Hawkins Jr. is an Osceola County commissioner who represents district 5.