Osceola road construction is in high gear and residents have a new way to stay informed of all the progress planned as part of a $210 million road-building effort that has launched, through a new online portal at www. osceola.org/osceola-roads.
Confirming Osceola County’s creditworthiness and well-established financial practices, the county plans to use the approximately $210 million from leveraging Osceola Parkway’s refinancing, to fund one of the largest investments in road improvements in Osceola County’s history, according to a county press release.
Five priority roads were identified, including but not limited to: Simpson Road, Boggy Creek Road, Bill Beck Boulevard, Poinciana Boulevard and Partin Settlement Road. The roads were prioritized based on a number of factors, including traffic congestion, the number of accidents and a connection to Osceola Parkway.
“The funds generated by the refinancing will power a wave of road projects that would not have been otherwise possible in the next five years,” said Commission Chairwoman Viviana Janer. “By thinking outside of the box, we are able to get these projects moving in order to offer some relief to our residents. In the meantime, the web portal highlights these projects as well as the ones we are working on with our many transportation partners, including CFX, the Florida Department of Transportation, SunRail and LYNX.
In addition to the road improvements planned with the bond sale, the county is already widening Hoagland Boulevard and starting plans to expand the twolane portion of Neptune Road to four lanes. As well, funds from the recent sale of Poinciana Parkway, to the Central Florida Expressway Authority, will be used to offset the cost of widening County Road 532, from two lanes to four lanes, from Old Lake Wilson Road to U.S. Highway 17-92.
State and federal grants alone, currently account for nearly $67 million in planned transportation improvements throughout the county. In 2019, the county also collected about $35.6 million in “mobility fees” from new development that is used exclusively for transportation projects, including sidewalks, traffic lights and intersection improvements. These resources, including the proceeds from the refinancing of Osceola Parkway, collectively form Osceola County’s road improvement initiative. The road improvement projects are expected to be complete by 2025.
The county sold approximately $309 million in bonds in January 2020 to refinance the Osceola Parkway. The bonds along with premium earned (the Bonds are sold at a higher rate/value) and existing reserve accounts (total of $349.4 million), supports approximately $210.4 million to fund construction of five priority roads. It will also pay off $111.7 million of existing debt and fund expenses related to the sale and the establishment of new reserve accounts.