As the year 2018 comes to a close the Poinciana Parkway project transforms to the next phase of its growth and evolution.
As planned control and operation of the Poinciana Parkway is being turned over to the Central Florida Expressway Authority (CFX). Average daily traffic on the parkway exceeds 10,000 cars each day.
A traffic and revenue study shows that the project is making money. CFX at the Poinciana Dec 4,2018 Poinciana traffic meeting stated that all revenues collected from Poinciana Parkway tolls will remain for use in the maintenance and expansion of the Poinciana Parkway, specifically the planned northern connection to I4 and the expansion of the parkway to 4 lanes which is expected to happen with the next 4 to 5 years.
The Poinciana Parkway was a project that had long been promised to the buyers of homes in Poinciana that never seemed to be making progress until the public demanded it from Poinciana's elected officials. The road was conceived when the plans for Poinciana were originally developed. Land was allocated to connect the northern end of Marigold Avenue in Poinciana across the Reedy Creek Swamp connecting to US 17/92. In fact Polk County had originally expanded Ronald Reagan CR54 to link up with the Poinciana Parkway.
The original plans called for the Poinciana developer Avatar to build the project as a private toll road. Original estimates called for the project to cost about $50M.
Where the project ran into trouble was when the Army Corps of Engineers insisted that a road crossing the ReedyCreek Swamp would not be acceptable to the environment but that instead a bridge needed to be constructed allowing preservation of wildlife crossings and water flow through the swamp. By adding the cost of the bridge to the project the projected costs jumped to $150M well beyond the financial capability of the developer Avatar to finance as a private project.
As a result the project languished for years. Promises were made but they were never delivered.
Finally public pressure became so great that Poinciana's elected officials were forced to take action.
This route shows the original plan for Poinciana Parkway showing the connection between the north end of Marigold Avenue and 17/92. The problem with this plan was that it would place an unreasonable amount of additional rush hour traffic on Marigold Avenue through residential neighborhoods and school zones.
To relieve the additional traffic problem on Marigold Avenue the solution was to add an additional leg for Poinciana Parkway connecting the interchange at Marigold Avenue Directly to Cypress Parkway in front of Solivita with an additional interchange at KOA Ave.