The Central Florida Expressway Authority approved on Thursday an interlocal agreement to transfer the Osceola County Expressway Authority’s Master Plan for improving the roads to them, which was passed by the Osceola’s County Commission the previous day. The effect this will have is hopefully furthering projects to improve Osceola County’s roads.

Osceola County is one of the top 20 fastest growing areas in the country right now, said Osceola County Commissioner Fred Hawkins.

With the amount of projects growing in the area, from the medical city to collaborations with the Space Coast, as well as burgeoning tech giants like the imec Florida project that recently announced it’s coming to the area, Hawkins said the roads need to be the best quality they can be to accommodate the high traffic levels.

“Seventy five percent of the people who work here commute to work,” he said. “Usually from Orange, Lake, or Brevard counties. The Poinciana Parkway is built for 2,600 trips, but the average so far is 6,500 a day. Weekend averages are 4,400, well beyond the projected numbers.”

Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs said there was a value in the two counties working together.

“I want to commend our staff for the cooperation we’ve had with Osceola County,” she said. “The approach that we’re taking in working together is working very well. I’m always proud of the regional cooperation we have between Orange County and Osceola County.”

CFX Board Chairman Welton G. Cadwell said the interlocal agreement would do well to make the roads “a little more safe.”

“This agreement shows that we truly are a regional agency that works together with its partners to benefit the Central Florida community,” he said. “With the anticipated merge of CFX and OCX in 2018, we can now get an early start on these necessary projects.”

The next step for CFX will be conducting studies over the next 18 months on the unbuilt Master Plan projects, to see which ones are viable and fundable.

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