Laura Kelley, executive director of the Central Florida Expressway Authority (CFX), delivered the agency’s 2040 visioning study to the Osceola County Commission on Monday as it seeks feedback for the newly formed coalition’s direction into the next 25 years.
CFX consists of nine members, six elected officials and three appointed by the governor, and encompasses Osceola, Orange, Seminole, and Lake counties. It’s responsible for construction, maintenance and operation of the regional expressway system, and how toll revenue is spent.
Statistics regarding revenue included 52 percent of it going toward debt payments on bonds, and 29 percent going toward CFX projects. Central Florida’s population is expected to grow from 4.4 million now to 5.5 million in 2040. “We are chasing a growing economic engine here” Kelley said.
Kelley asked the commission to participate in a word-association exercise. “How would you describe the system today? And how would you like to describe the system 25 years from now?” she asked.
Commission Chairman Brandon Arrington said “fast” and “inclusive,” while expressing a desire for a “beltway” that would wrap around the county to connect it with other communities.
The board also commended Kelley on her leadership. She was appointed this year as the new executive director of CFX, which replaced the embattled Orlando-Orange County Expressway Authority that was disbanded amid allegations of bribery and fraud.
The new board was assembled with a concentration on assigning more positions to elected officials. Board members include Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs, as well as Osceola Commissioner Fred Hawkins. Kelley has since visited each county commission in the agency’s jurisdiction and has received positive reviews.
“They made the right choice, and I’m excited for the future,” Arrington said.