Orlando–Orange County Expressway Authority

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The Orlando–Orange County Expressway Authority (OOCEA) is an expressway authority responsible for construction, maintenance and operation of toll roads in Orange County, Florida, United States, which includes the city of Orlando. It manages a network of roads including large portions of a beltway around Orlando. The OOCEA operates an electronic toll collection system known as E-PASS, one of the first systems of its kind in the United States.[citation needed] Use of the state's SunPass system is also available on OOCEA roads.

The newest addition to the OOCEA system is an extension of Maitland Boulevard (State Road 414) known as the John Land Apopka Expressway. The expressway opened on May 15, 2009. The project was inherited from the Florida Department of Transportation, which referred to it as the "Apopka Bypass". Planning is also underway for an extension of State Road 429 known as the Wekiva Parkway. In addition, SR 408 is undergoing a massive overhaul, including the relocation of its two main toll plazas, large sections of widening, and expansion of a bridge over Lake Underhill.

The current 25-year plan, the "2030 Master Plan", includes two new toll connections to Brevard County (including an extension of SR 408), a new connection from Sanford to New Smyrna Beach parallel to State Road 415, a southern bypass of SR 417 to Florida's Turnpike south of St. Cloud, and a connection from the Western Beltway to U.S. Highway 27 south of Clermont.

History[edit]

The Authority was founded in 1963 for the purpose of building the Bee Line Expressway, and soon built the East-West Expressway.

The following roads were built by the OOCEA:

Many sections of the current expressway system, such as the connection of SR 528 from Sand Lake Road to I-4, the sections of SR 417 in Seminole and Osceola counties, and SR 429 south of Seidel Road, were built by the Florida's Turnpike Enterprise, and their toll facilities are managed by the same.

Beginning in 2007, OOCEA is transitioning from signs that use the FHWA Series E modified typeface to signs that use the new Clearview typeface.

A 2013 grand jury investigation into the Authority, found a "culture of corruption," involving gifts and campaign donations. The Authority was criticized for firing the Director who was attempting to stop this corruption, replacing him with a legislator with no experience of running a toll operation. The job paid over $175,000 annually.[1][2]

Canceled projects[edit]

The Central Connector, known by the Florida Department of Transportation as State Road 529[3] (SR 529), was a proposed tollway planned to parallel Orange Avenue (SR 527) between downtown Orlando and the Beachline Expressway. The project was canceled in 1991 after much local opposition.

Cost[edit]

In 2010, the Authority was attempting to keep the average toll to $0.11 per mile.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.floridatoday.com/article/20140115/OPINION/301150004/
  2. ^ Tracy, Dan (2013-12-28). "Orlando Expressway Authority in turmoil, faces uncertain future". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 2014-01-18. 
  3. ^ Orange County Comptroller - Official Records book 5045 page 2928
  4. ^ Schweers, Jeff (6 December 2010). "New Beachline plaza won't increase toll". Melbourne, Florida: Florida Today. pp. 1A. 

External links[edit]

Browse numbered routes
ex-SR 528A 529 SR 530