CFX director says negotiations to build Osceola toll roads 'still fluid'

Central Florida Expressway Authority Executive Director Laura Kelley said the agreement for the regional agency to build and manage five new toll roads in Oscoela County will be very different from the terms Osceola Commissioners adopted Monday.

"Those terms were from two weeks ago," she told GrowthSpotter on Thursday. "That was just a starting point. I wouldn't hang my hat on those numbers."


The seven-page memorandum of understanding indicated that CFX would accept the Osceola County Expressway Authority's 2040 master plan -- a system of five toll roads that make up a 60-mile southern beltway loop -- as part of its own long-term plan.

Learn why this is a historic agreement between CFX and Osceola, and how it can speed up the county's plans to build a southern beltway loop.

Under the MOU, CFX would have 120 days to hire a consultant to conduct financial feasibility studies of each road segment. That study must be completed within a year, and CFX would agree to add the most viable toll project or projects to its five-year work program.

But the term sheet also included financial terms under which CFX would purchase Osceola's new Poinciana Parkway, which is slated to open April 30. Both Kelley and Osceola County Manager Don Fisher have been authorized to continue negotiations and bring a final inter-local agreement to their respective boards in May.

"It's a really fluid process," Kelley said.

However, based on revenue projections the agency would have a shortfall of up to $5 billion over that quarter century.

Also in May, the CFX board is expected to vote on its five-year work program and 2040 plan. The proposed five-year-work program includes $6.8 million to conduct feasibility studies for future toll road projects. Kelley said a portion of that budget would be for the Osceola master plan.

The draft CFX 2040 plan also includes a dozen new toll road projects totaling up to $9 billion. The potential new roads include an eight-mile eastern extension of S.R. 408, the Wellness Way in Lake County and a two-mile connector from S.R. 414 directly to Interstate 4. The rest include the five Osceola toll projects and four corridors recommended by Gov. Rick Scott's East Central Florida Task Force.

In other business, the board awarded the $62.5 million contract to The Lane Construction Corp. to build the S.R. 528-Innovation Way interchange. Lane, which is building the I-4 Ultimate project, was the low-bidder for the design-build contract.

Elipsis Engineering will serve as construction engineer and inspector (CEI) for the project. The Elipsis contract is for $4.3 million.

The agency will be seeking construction bids for the S.R. 417-Narcoossee Road interchange improvements. The contract calls for the addition of two left turn lanes and traffic signal improvements to relieve congestion at the the interchange.

CFX will also be seeking letters of interest from CEI firms for the S.R. 408 widening from S.R. 417 to Alafaya Trail.

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at lkinsler@GrowthSpotter.com or (407)420-6261, or tweet me at @LKinslerOGrowth. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.