First phase of road connecting Turnpike and U.S. Highway 27 opens in Minneola

$6.6 million highway mostly funded by Florida Department of Transportation

Commissioners in Lake County open the first phase of a highway that's designed to bring improved access to the Florida Turnpike.

MINNEOLA, Fla. – Commissioners in Lake County on Wednesday opened the first phase of a highway that's designed to bring improved access to the Florida Turnpike and eventually provide a faster route to U.S. Highway 27.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held for Citrus Grove Road, which officially opened between North Hancock Road and Grassy Lake Road.

Officials said the $6.6 million highway was mostly funded by the Florida Department of Transportation and county transportation impact fees.  The project also included partnership funding from the City of Minneola and more than $1 million in donated right-of-way from nearby landowners.

With the completion of the first phase, Citrus Grove Road was expanded to four lanes. It now features a 120-foot-wide right-of-way, a multiuse bike trail, bike lanes and sidewalks.

Citrus Grove Road in Lake County.

"The completion of Phase I of Citrus Grove Road will add to the economic growth that the new North Hancock Road and Minneola Turnpike Interchange have already brought to the region," Commissioner Sean Parks said. "This new highway will have a tremendous impact on our local road network."

The second phase of the project is scheduled to begin later this year and will connect the first phase to U.S. Highway 27.

About the Author:

Mark Lehman became a News 6 reporter in July 2014, but he's been a Central Florida journalist and part of the News 6 team for much longer. While most people are fast asleep in their bed, Mark starts his day overnight by searching for news on the streets of Central Florida.