CFX membership puts Brevard in super-corridor driver’s seat



Hurricanes and economic growth might seem to have nothing in common, but having witnessed the impact of both on Brevard County I could argue otherwise.

Nature’s wrath and prosperity get people moving, whether fleeing Cocoa Beach as a major storm approaches or commuting to work from Viera. That creates a demand for more transportation options and new road corridors.

Fortunately, Brevard County took a big step toward meeting its transportation demands when, in July, it joined the Central Florida Expressway Authority, the region’s toll road agency. As a county commissioner (District 2), I represent Brevard on CFX’s Governing Board, whose membership includes Lake, Osceola, Orange and Seminole counties, and the City of Orlando. Having a seat at the table means Brevard now has a say in CFX plans that could impact our quality of life for generations to come.

Consider, for example, the explosive growth of Orlando’s Lake Nona area near Orlando International Airport and development plans for Deseret Ranch in east Osceola County. CFX is studying a multimodal corridor concept that would address eastward expansion toward central/south Brevard. Such a project could open the door to greater economic mobility for Cocoa/Rockledge, Viera, Melbourne and Palm Bay, plus provide a sorely needed new evacuation route for residents in lower Brevard.

Under CFX’s five-year, $1.6 billion work plan, Brevard stands to benefit from the millions of dollars being spent on upgrades to State Road 528. Someday the Beachline Expressway, as 528 is known, could become a “super-corridor,” accommodating vehicle and multimodal transportation between the economic bookends of OIA and Cape Canaveral.

With inland growth moving toward Brevard as we ride our own economic wave, it’s important for the county to strengthen connectivity and collaboration with its neighbors to the west.

And as a member of CFX, Brevard can and will do just that.