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Update: Orange County Commissioners Approve $305 Million Kirkman Road Expansion Project

Commissioners are voting today on the project. Photo: Universal Orlando

The Orange County Board of Commissioners approved a $305 million dollar Kirkman road expansion project late Tuesday.

Commissioners voted 4-3 in support of the plan that will give Universal Orlando $125 million dollars in tax money to build the road. 

Orange County will contribute $125 million dollars total, while the state will give another $16 million dollars for the 1.7 mile road expansion project. 

Universal will lead the construction project and contribute an estimated $180 million dollars for the road. The company would be responsible if the project ends up costing more. 

Orlando resident Cynthia Harris says she’d rather see this money used for new job training programs in the area. 

“These are smart people, we are degreed people, we are educated people and it’s not fair that all you can offer us is jobs working for McDonald’s.”

Universal CEO John Sprouls says the company will create 14,000 jobs that pay a minimum of $15 dollars an hour at its new Epic Universe park-just one of the ways it would pay this incentive forward.

“Our forty thousand hours of volunteer work that has been done in the community in the last year is one example of that. The landed gift that we talked about yesterday is another example.”

On Monday Universal said it will donate 20 acres near the planned Epic Universe where 1,000 affordable housing units could be built by developers.

The project will expand Kirkman Road to Carrier Drive in the north and Universal Boulevard in the south.

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Danielle Prieur

About Danielle Prieur

Reporter & Fill-in Host

Danielle Prieur is a general assignment reporter at WMFE. You can hear her reporting on a daily basis on the station. She also fills-in as a host during the morning and afternoon drive times. Her reporting has been featured on NPR, Marketplace, Here & Now, and Vox. Danielle is originally from Rochester Hills, ... Read Full Bio »