Longest stretch of Wekiva Parkway opens

A six-mile stretch of the Wekiva Parkway is now open, marking a major milestone toward the completion of Central Florida’s beltway.

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Drivers can now get on at State Road 429 in Lake County and west of Longwood-Markham Road in Seminole County.

“We’re really excited to be opening this up to traffic,” said Jessica Ottaviano with the Florida Department of Transportation.

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The Florida Department of Transportation said the $1.6 billion project will help alleviate congestion and new wildlife crossings will make it safer for animals.

FDOT said it built the Wekiva Parkway with nature top of mind.

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“We’ve taken extreme measures to make sure that we’re very protective of the environment. We even built the bridge over the river without putting a piece of equipment in the water,” Ottaviano said.

FDOT leaders said the entire project should be finished early next year.

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