Winter Springs' largest and most centrally located park is on the cusp of getting its first 24-hour, straight through roadway.
The run will provide improved access to tournament-grade soccer and baseball fields and pavilions for the growing community.
The $1.6 million project, which is now out for general contractor bidding, will connect Orange Avenue and Central Winds Parkway at a new roundabout in the center of Central Winds Park.
Central Winds Park has been a community fixture for decades, featuring expansive lawns, athletic offerings and winding trails.
The roadwork will complement what the park already has to offer, said Brian Fields, PE, the city's engineer. "This is a step forward as we grow."
Winter Springs has seen a lot of recent residential construction and more is underway throughout the area, especially near Central Winds Park, Fields said.
The project will create a half-mile stretch of road that will contain approximately 40 new parking spaces, in addition to providing much improved traveling logistics, he said.
Right now, the park closes at dark and its roadways end within, requiring visitors to turn around to depart.
The park's high profile as a local destination helped spur city commissioners to approve the project last year, with the $1.6 million to come from transportation impact fees.
Creating the new parking layout will require a significant amount of skill, since the spots will employ "back-in angle parking." This is where cars looks like they are heading into an angled space, but pass through it and then, by shifting into reverse, end up backing in at a 60 degree angle. The approach is also called safety parking because it enables sports or picnic gear to be unloaded from the rear of the car and requires pulling out of the spot to be done slowly, Fields said.
Winter Springs is taking a low bidder approach to the project, with the GC required to have certain qualifications, bid documents show.
The winning bidder must be Florida Department of Transportation pre-qualified in drainage, grading and asphalt paving.
The GC must have experience building similar projects and have a record of success in the area.
Winter Springs is taking bids until March 16, and hopes to award the contract by March 28.
"You never know on bid day who is interested and who is not," Fields said. "Hopefully we will get a lot of good competitive bids."
Work is expected to start before the close of April and be finished in September. CPH Engineers is the project's design engineer.