Toll road agency’s responsiveness bodes well for Brevard


State Road 528 is a vital road in Brevard County.

Viera Voice shutterstock

Two years ago, while I was chair of the Brevard Board of County Commissioners, I strongly advocated for our county to join the Central Florida Expressway Authority (CFX).

I felt at the time that we needed to be more involved in regional transportation planning that could help us better manage growth and improve south Brevard County’s westward connectivity.

Fortunately, my fellow commissioners agreed, and on July 1, 2017, Brevard joined CFX. In late 2018, I joined the toll agency’s board as Brevard’s representative. CFX’s other member jurisdictions are Lake, Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties and the city of Orlando.

While a relative newcomer to CFX, Brevard has a long history with the agency, dating to the late 1960s with the opening of State Road 528 (Martin B. Andersen Beachline Expressway). Today, more than 50 years later, SR 528 remains Brevard residents’ go-to corridor for traveling to Orlando, whether to catch a flight, visit area theme parks or flee a hurricane.   

But with Viera drawing growth to the southern part of the county and two massive developments planned for ranch land extending eastward from Osceola and Orange counties, it’s only a matter of time until building a new east-west route south of SR 528 makes perfect sense.

At this point, CFX doesn’t have any plans to do so, but Brevard County now has a seat at the table when the agency begins to plan for a westward evacuation route and a more convenient thoroughfare to Orlando International Airport. A connector joining south Brevard with its neighbors to the west also would create greater economic mobility for residents and elevate the area’s standard of living and quality of life.   

Of course, such a road-building project would take years of preparation before construction could begin. And that’s why I see a group such as CFX being the right partner for our county. The agency has a proven track record for perseverance and problem-solving, having designed and constructed sections of the environmentally sensitive Wekiva Parkway, for example.

Currently, CFX is working on separate Project Development & Environment (PD&E) studies for relieving traffic congestion and promoting regional connectivity in Lake and Osceola counties, two of Central Florida’s hottest growth markets. It’s the agency’s responsiveness to its member jurisdictions that I believe will bode well for Brevard as more people and jobs move here and our beaches grow in popularity.

I look forward to working with my CFX partners to address transportation solutions for our community.