Plans for Orlando Bridge District released

ORLANDO, Fla. – The first look at what could become the Bridge District of Downtown Orlando was released Thursday.

The area under Interstate 4 near the Amway Center between South Hughey and South Garland avenues is currently dominated by parking, but that's all going to go away.

If the plan goes through, each section will be set aside for a particular park attraction, with sports on one end, family and food trucks in the middle and even a market. The five mapped-out areas are designed to suit almost everyone.

The sports area will include regulation soccer fields, basketball and tennis courts, bocce ball and shuffleboard.

There's also room for green space, picnic tables, a dog park, life-sized chess and art displays.

The plans released on Thursday inspired mixed reactions.

"I think it's a great idea," said Andrew Cameron.

"I think it's good for the community," said Kaele Fontaine. "It brings people together, gets people active."

But not everyone thinks the idea is a good one.

"Kind of noisy, I mean, there's overhead traffic from I-4," Nancy Tait said.

"I honestly wouldn't see myself or some of my friends coming out to play here," said Rachel Valari. "I'm all for creating nice areas, but we need parking here."

The construction has paved the way to parking worries, but for many, the plan is forward-thinking.

"You see a lot of those in major cities, and Orlando is growing," said Daniel Janequine.

"They could have just knocked it down and not put anything there," Cameron said. "So I think they're using their resources wisely to put a park in there that everybody can enjoy, because not everybody is going to be using the parking, but anybody can go and have a good time at the park."

The plans are still only a draft, as they need funding and approval from FDOT.