Fortune Road and Simpson Road are slated to get facelifts in the next couple years, so where they intersect is getting a fashionable makeover.
The $6.8 million project, which includes road widenings, signal improvements and better sidewalks, is budgeted for the 2023 fiscal year, meaning that work would start late in 2022 if everything stays on schedule, with completion in the fall of 2023.
County planners, at an online webinar about the project this week, said the work will improve both the safety and traffic flow through the intersection, which has seen its share of accidents according to traffic reports. New turns lanes are projected to enhance safety, and other adjacent traffic signals will be calibrated to improve the traffic flow through the intersection.
All of the county’s documents and information on the project can be found here: https://www.osceola.org/agencies-departments/transportation-transit/projects/fortunesimpson/
Limited right-of-way acquisition will be needed, and temporarily lane closures will be required.
The free-flowing turn lane from south Simpson Road to westbound Fortune Road will be eliminated to accommodate a new pond for drainage. The new intersection would have two right turn lanes at the traffic light. During the online presentation, county planners said crash data dictated removing that lane that currently doesn’t require that lane’s traffic to slow down much, and doing so would enhance pedestrian and bicyclist safety since it makes a wider sidewalk possible.
Fortune Road will be improved and widened from Lakeside Drive to Sophie Way. A new 10-foot sidewalk on south side of the road will be part of the Fortune-Lakeshore Trail that will link up with another lakeside trail in St. Cloud, and the north side of the road will get one too. The added lane on eastbound Fortune Road would become a turn lane into Southland Christian School.
Simpson Road from Harbor Town Drive to Winners Circle, a little more than a mile, would be widened and get relocated sidewalks and a raised concrete median.
County planner Conroy Jacobs participated in the online meeting and said Fortune is in the county’s long-range plans for a general widening, but there’s no timeline currently for it.
The county has planned a second web meeting for this project to update the public on its progress.