Florida finally moves ahead with $100M fix to Osceola County traffic nightmare

Project meant to ease traffic to start in 2027

OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. – The Osceola County Commission threw its full support Monday afternoon behind a $100 million traffic project that is supposed to solve a commuter nightmare.

If you’ve ever driven down John Young Parkway anywhere near Pleasant Hill Road in Kissimmee, you know the two lanes in each direction slow down to a crawl most hours of the day.

On Tuesday afternoon, the Florida Department of Transportation showed its final plans to Osceola County commissioners that aim to get results for drivers who take that road.

FDOT has been looking to improve the traffic backup since 2011 but said every time it got close to a solution, growth and traffic were exploding in the area so they’d have to start over.

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“It used to take me a half hour to get home, now it takes me an hour,” one driver shouted from his car.

The problem?

In the morning, drivers in droves leave Poinciana heading north and east towards Kissimmee or Orlando.

In the evening, everyone does the reverse.

So to solve the problem, FDOT has finally settled on a solution: building a flyover, similar to the one in Seminole County that connects Red Bug Lake Road to S.R. 436 without slowing the flow of traffic.

The flyover in Osceola County would also only be one direction — eastbound.

FDOT intersection engineer Steven Buck said westbound traffic would be at ground level, but streamlined.

“If we were to build a both-direction flyover we would have to take a lot more land, and if we don’t have a designated need based on traffic or safety or any other elements, then we can’t justify taking that property,” Buck said.

FDOT will also build a cut-through between Pleasant Hill Road and John Young Parkway for the traffic that is turning so it doesn’t stack up and block cars continuing straight.

“So it’s currently funded for construction in the fiscal year 2027, which is calendar year 2027,” Buck said.

Until then, FDOT will be designing and buying up land. Officials have put up an improvement plan on the FDOT website.

Right now, road crews are doing small things to make the intersection a little less painful in the short term: fixing the timing of the lights and shifting some of the lanes.

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About the Author:

Erik von Ancken anchors and reports for WKMG-TV News 6 (CBS) in Orlando and is a two-time Emmy award-winning journalist in the prestigious and coveted "On-Camera Talent" categories for both anchoring and reporting. Erik joined the News 6 News Team in 2003 days after the tragic loss of space shuttle Columbia.