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Reedy Creek to restrict bidding for $190 million Disney dual interchange project

Reedy Creek to restrict bidding for $190 million Disney dual interchange project
Walt Disney World's Reedy Creek Improvement District is planning a new interchange and new entrance to the expanding Hollywood Studios theme park. (SFWMD)

Only a handful of companies will be invited to bid for $190 million in road improvements at Walt Disney World.

Disney's Reedy Creek Improvement District filed plans Friday for two interchange projects on park property designed to vastly improve traffic flow to Disney parks and venues.

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District Administrator John Classe told GrowthSpotter the interchange of Osceola Parkway and Victory Drive will help alleviate congestion during high-traffic events at Disney's Wide World of Sports, and creates a new main entrance for Hollywood Studios.

"Right now that intersection is at grade and signalized," he explained. "It's just not an efficient way to move traffic."

The new design by HNTB Corporation would elevate Osceola Parkway and create a three-way diamond interchange with one cloverleaf ramp to allow traffic exiting the Hollywood Studios parking lot to get to Osceola Parkway (and I-4) unimpeded.

It also eliminates the left turn movement for motorists going to WWOS. "With the venues at Wide World of Sports increasing capacity, the level of service at that intersection has deteriorated," Classe said. The intersection fails during high-traffic events, such as Atlanta Braves' spring training games and cheerleading events.

"Osceola Parkway is also the direct access to Animal Kingdom, and that park is growing and is going to be a nightime park," Classe said.

The plans also call for the completion of the four-way cloverleaf interchange at Osceola Parkway and World Drive.

"Right now, if you're driving east on Osceola Parkway and want to go north on World Drive, you have to stop at a signalized intersection for a left turn," Classe said. "This is the fourth corner of the cloverleaf."

Classe said the district will invite a select group of contractors to bid on the project, which may be broken into phases or scopes of work. Unsolicited proposoals will not be accepted.

Firms interested in getting prequalified should contact the district's Contracts and Risk Management Department to initiate conversations, Classe said. "We typically follow Florida Department of Transportation standards and requirements to pre-qualify contractors."

The construction period is expected to last through early 2019, but roadway segmants will be opened as they're completed.

"Our goal is to keep as many lanes open as possible during construction -- so there will have to be temporary roads or lanes built to keep the traffic moving," Classe said. "There will be a lot of work done during the day. Any significant lane closures will be done at night, after the parks close."

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.

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