Pineda Causeway Extension: Central Florida and beyond?


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The Pineda Causeway Extension, which now ends at I-95, could be extended through Orange and Osceola counties to form a new expressway south of SR 528.

Linda Wiggins

Now that the Pineda Causeway has been extended to Interstate 95, its next major leap could be to Central Florida, connecting west Viera directly to the equally new and upscale Lake Nona area south of Orlando bordering Orange and Osceola counties.

Viera/Suntree’s District 4 Brevard County Commissioner Curt Smith is waiting on a green light from Governor Rick Scott’s office on the option, one of several recommended by East Central Florida Corridor Task Force.

“I look forward to the day when we can have another east/west transportation route,” Smith said, “it will relieve east/west capacity issues on SR 528 and US 192 while also reducing north/south traffic on Wickham Road and I-95.”

The East Central Florida Corridor Task Force was established as a result of Executive Order 13-319 on Nov. 1, 2013 and it completed its study and submitted its recommendations Dec. 1, 2014.

The task force evaluated and developed consensus recommendations on future transportation corridors serving established and emerging economic activity centers in portions of Brevard, Orange and Osceola counties. The Task Force’s recommendations include 21 guiding principles for planning the future of East Central Florida’s transportation corridors, nine transportation corridor alternatives for further study, and a proposed action plan for implementation of the recommendations.

In addition to Smith’s predecessor, Mary Bolin Lewis, the task force included commissioners from Orange and Osceola counties, transportation officials and economic development representatives, and major land owners represented by The Viera Company CEO Tracy Duda Chapman and general manager Erik Jacobsen of Deseret Ranch, which is owned by the Mormon church, officially called The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, conservation groups, business owners and citizens at large.

Just as A. Duda & Sons is developing much of its cattle ranch operations into the residential community of Viera, retaining major watershed and permanent agricultural preserves, Deseret Ranches has plans of its own on the other side of the St. Johns River. The draft North Ranch master plan envisions future long-term uses of the ranch for conservation, water storage, agriculture and urban development, including a network of 16 centers with projected population of 355,000 by 2060 and 490,000 by 2080.

According to the report, several trends are linking once separate cities and towns into a broader economic region: 

The continued economic strength of the agricultural sector and related manufacturing and distribution.

Industries, which account for nearly 212,000 jobs and $11 billion in value-added activity, including the nation’s largest cow-calf ranch and significant production of citrus.

The transition of the historic base of military and space launch activities into a global marketplace.

“These trends point to significant increases in demand for travel between the three counties during the next 50 years,” the report concludes.

The Viera Company appreciates the need for an additional east-west connector road, said its senior vice president of Land Use Planning and Development, Todd Pokrywa.

“However, we want to ensure that a major thoroughfare will not negatively impact existing or planned neighborhoods in Viera, or affect the community’s natural environment, especially the Viera Wilderness Park, which is in place to assure the long term protection and enhancement of Viera’s natural resources.” 

For more information, email or call District 4 aide Pat Woodard at patrick.woodard@brevard.us or call 321-633-2044.