The Central Florida Expressway Authority is opening its final section of the Wekiva Parkway, which will eventually complete a beltway around Orlando.
On Saturday, CFX will open a 5-mile portion of the expressway, which is a joint project with the Florida Department of Transportation.
"It's going to be huge for people on the commuting front," Wekiva Parkway spokeswoman Mary Brooks said. "It's also huge, obviously, for commerce and just general traffic."
The new section includes an expressway connection to State Road 46 for the first time. An interchange gives northbound drivers the option to access SR-46 near Sand Lake Road in Sorrento or SR-46 east of Camp Challenge Road.
"We don't have a direct connection to Seminole County, but we're getting folks toward that location a lot faster," Brooks said.
The expressway is the first in Central Florida to use all electronic tolls. The system gives drivers the option to pay by transponder or through their license plate.
Project planners also said the road was designed with aesthetics in mind. Large portions of the road have been dug below ground level in an effort to reduce the impact on the surrounding area.
The opening marks the halfway point of having the entire 25-mile parkway open to traffic.
When completed by FDOT at a scheduled date in late 2021, the Wekiva Parkway will connect to State Road 417 in Sanford.
The new section of the expressway is scheduled to open Saturday at 10 a.m.
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