Years from now, Osceola County drivers could have a new way to connect from U.S. Highway 192 east of St. Cloud to State Road 50 in eastern Orange or western Brevard counties that doesn’t involve Nova Road.
The emphasis on all this is could, as all the plans are now just potential considerations of the Central Florida Expressway Authority. The plans make up a 200-plus page CFX corridor study.
This study is in addition to one Brevard County leaders asked for to look at an additional east-west route to link Brevard and Orlando. When he was governor, Rick Scott asked the state to look at that to provide an additional hurricane evacuation route and open up more of the state to development (that second one received luke-warm support from environmentalists).
The road would go through land owned by the Deseret Ranches, which has already spent years working with the county on development plans for the Northeast District and the North Ranch Sector that includes urban and residential districts, roads and sensitive conservation lands. The Northeast District wouldn’t see development until 2040, around the time the new road might open, and the North Ranch Sector wouldn’t be developed until the 2040-2080 time frame but could be home to some 450,000 people approaching the year 2100, according to years-old county plans.
In March 2018, CFX presented its Concept, Feasibility and Mobility Studies for the Northeast Connector Expressway and identify options to connect to roads like I-4, State Road 429 and Florida’s Turnpike in Osceola County. The CFX Board decided not to advance the Northeast Connector Expressway to the next study phase at that, time, choosing instead to revisit an expressway in the corridor in the future according to changes in circumstances.
A southern connection of much the same proposed road was part of an original 25-year highway plan of the Osceola County Expressway Authority (OCX). That board, before being folded into CFX, made plans for a handful of toll roads. The first, Poinciana Parkway, which now connects northwest parts of Poinciana to U.S. Highway 17-92 in Polk County and provides easier access to I-4, was built by OCX. Its other proposals included extending that road to directly connect to I-4, a road connecting Cypress Parkway to Florida’s Turnpike south of Lake Tohopekaliga, an eastern extension of Osceola Parkway, and the southern portion of the Northeast Connector that would meet that new part of Osceola Parkway.
In 2017 those initiatives became part of the CFX’s long-range plan.