Building the Poinciana Parkway over Miles of Swampland

South of Orlando in Osceola County, Florida, lies the development of Poinciana. A retirement community founded in the 1960s, it was designed as a place where transplants could enjoy the warmth of Florida within driving distance to the region's premiere theme parks—an attractive option during family visits.

Located on an island surrounded by Reedy Creek Swamp and other wetlands, access to Poinciana was historically relegated to a few small roadways. Poinciana became one of Florida's fastest-growing areas after 1994, and the jump from 235 new residents annually to nearly 3,000 strained roadways to their limits.

The developer's original plan for a privately constructed roadway through the wetlands to alleviate congestion was absorbed into Florida legislature six years ago with the founding of the Osceola County Expressway Authority (OCX). Teaming with Jr. Davis Construction, we helped OCX design and construct the nearly 10-mile Poinciana Parkway. Spanning west across the swampland, we're proud the first phase is opening this weekend.

Downtown Solivita
Downtown Solivita in Poinciana, Florida, is an award-winning 55-plus community renowned for its design, community planning, and environmental stability.

Expanding Regional Connectivity

OSX's Poinciana Parkway is the critical first link to a limited access toll road network throughout Osceola County. It's a key northern transportation corridor with access to regional transportation networks, theme parks, and metro Orlando's employment, shopping, and entertainment markets.

Connecting Poinciana to Interstate 4 (I-4), which runs as far west as Tampa, north through Orlando, and northeast to Daytona Beach, the parkway offers a shorter distance to Walt Disney World Resort and an alternative for those commuting downtown. Even more importantly, it will be the primary hurricane evacuation route for nearby residents and will improve emergency response to the community.

Poinciana Parkway

Over the Marshes and Through the Woods

Creating this roadway was not without its challenges, one of the most difficult of which was constructing across low-lying wetlands, creeks, swamps, and marshes. We addressed a number of environmental concerns during design, permitting, and construction. Many aspects, from the roadways and bridges to utilities and fiber networks, were analyzed and assessed based on their anticipated impacts to the ecosystem and environment.

Our team implemented special construction and design considerations to minimize such disturbances. Low-pressure segmented barges facilitated construction access, a 6,200-foot-long bridge over Reedy Creek Swamp maintains a critical wildlife corridor where native species can walk (or swim) underneath with little obstruction, and a scupper system on the bridge collects untreated stormwater.

Poinciana Parkway

Celebrating as Members of the Community

It's a joy to work on projects that allow us to celebrate alongside affected community members. To commemorate this weekend's ribbon cutting, we're sponsoring the Poinciana Parkway 5k and nearly a dozen Dewberry employees will join members of the community to run across it in celebration of a safer and faster transportation alternative for Poinciana residents.

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  • Kevin Knudsen
    Kevin Knudsen
 
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