Thousands of residents, workers and visitors a day travel Cypress Gardens Blvd to get to their destination. It can be a challenge, even when not in snowbird season. Add in our winter residents, and well, we all know the feeling and frustration. It can take numerous light cycles to get through two of our busiest intersections, Cypress Gardens Blvd. and US 17 and Cypress Gardens Blvd and First Street.
Thanks to the initiative and collaboration of our city and county leadership, a deal has been made the with the Florida Department of Transportation to address these bottlenecks. Continue reading for some of the highlights of the project.
Cypress Gardens Blvd and US 17
The Florida Department of Transportation District 1 leadership met with the City and County leadership to devise a plan to address current and anticipated traffic issues surrounding the Chain of Lakes Complex and two of our busiest business corridors, US 17 and Cypress Gardens Blvd (CGB).
The best news, the FDOT has agree to pay for 100% of the design and improvements to the US 17 and CGB interchange. Improvements include:
First Street and Cypress Gardens Blvd
The FDOT has agreed to pay for the design of improvements to First Street and CGB. First Street is a City road so the cost of the road improvements would be born by the city. Improvements include:
As you can see from the chart above, the construction would be scheduled to begin in the fourth quarter of 2021 with completion by the end of the 3rd quarter 2022. Now my first response was, that far away? To which the response was, this is the fast-track! Design is step 1, followed by right of way acquisition, utility relocation etc.
To most of us, this can't come soon enough. The new fieldhouse and conference center is scheduled to open in November 2019. A developer has marketed plans to redevelop the site across US 17 from the complex (many refer to as the old fertilizer plant) but there are no timelines on this development.
If the City's current proposed budget passes, we will also soon see relief at the intersections of CGB and 6th, 8th and 9th Streets as well.
We would like to commend Mike Herr and his staff at the City, Jim Freeman and his team at the County, and Florida Department of Transportation District 1 Secretary L.K. Nandam for their work, collaboration and foresight to get this project done!