Released By Osceola County Community Outreach/Public Information Office
A $23 million contract to begin construction on the last expansion phase of Hoagland Boulevard was approved by County Commissioners last week.
Hoagland Boulevard, a key connector for commuters between U.S. 192 and U.S. 17-92, has long been targeted for improvement by the County. Thanks to a $19.1 million grant from the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), work on completing the last piece of this vital north-south connector is now expected to commence within the next month.
“Osceola County has traditionally put significantly less funding per capita into capital spending for transportation compared to Orange and Seminole counties. Hoagland Boulevard Phase 2 had been on MPO’s Priority Project List since 2009, so securing these [grant] dollars is a significant coup and shows that we are working hard to fight for our share of dollars from our state and federal partners in order to fund needed improvements to our infrastructure,” said Commission Chairwoman Cheryl Grieb.
Securing funding for projects from Metroplan Orlando’s (MPO) Prioritized Project List, which prioritizes the distribution of FDOT funds, has always been a challenge as Osceola County is the smallest county in the region, based on population, and has the least representation on the board.
The County is currently asking voters to consider a 1-cent transportation surtax to fund additional priority transportation projects similar to Hoagland. The vote is set for May 21. Officials say that without the surtax, only one major road widening project can be completed every 7 to 10 years. Osceola County currently has a $1.1 billion backlog of road construction projects. The tax, if approved, is expected to raise more than $2 billion over the next 30 years. For more information on the 1-cent transportation surtax, visit onecent.osceola.org or call (407) 742-ROAD (7623).
Hoagland Boulevard Phase 2, awarded Monday, March 19, 2019, includes realigning Hoagland Boulevard from north of the Shingle Creek Bridge to the existing four-lane section at 5th Street. This includes building a four-lane divided roadway, 6-foot wide bike lanes, a 6-foot wide sidewalk along the east side of the roadway and an 8-foot to 10-foot wide path along the west side of Hoagland Boulevard. The project also includes a new bridge spanning the SunRail railroad tracks.
The new 2.15-mile long roadway will be constructed to the west and south of Kissimmee Gateway Airport, connecting north and south segments of the road.
Construction on the southern phase of Hoagland Boulevard improvements began this past October. FDOT provided a $4.8 million construction grant.