Winter Springs gets a new face

Tessa Gagne, Editor in Chief

The city of Winter Springs is getting an upgrade in the way of new roads, new apartments, and a new path through the Winter Springs Town Center.

The basic plan is this: the Florida Department of Transportation is currently resurfacing State Road 434, which directly in front of the high school, to where it intersects with State Road 419 and Tuskawilla Road.

The work is mostly being conducted at night until the early hours of the morning to prevent any extensive road blocking with morning traffic and commute. The project is expected to be completed in January of 2016.

Besides a smoother road face, the 434 project will increase the left turn lane into Central Winds Park by about 600 feet. For high school students driving from the west to get to school, (students from Winding Hollow, Parkstone, Highlands, etc.) this increase in length of the turn lane will cut down on traffic to get into the school. For other commuters attempting to go straight past the school, there will be less road blocks and stops.

For pedestrian safety, the construction project will also add a new sidewalk along the north side of 419 from 434 to Layer Elementary, as well as various other sidewalk and curb improvements at intersections along 434 between 419 and Tuskawilla Rd. There will also be a remodel in the signs and traffic signals to keep them up to date with current standards.

In addition to roads, various other construction projects are occurring around Winter Springs which is directly and indirectly related to the 434 project and Winter Springs commuting as a whole.
Beginning last year, the land next to the City Hall was razed, or torn down, in preparation for new apartment buildings that were expected to begin leasing in the Spring/Summer of 2015. They are, however, still under construction.

While it will be several years before students at WSHS will be ready to buy one of these apartments, the construction of the buildings has caused the shutdown (temporarily) of Doran Dr., a major road that leads straight into the school. This closing is for the safety of any students that walk the road, and also for any cars that frequent the road and have the potential to pick up loose nails.

Despite the measure of safety it brings, it has caused a back-up in morning traffic along the school road to get into the various parking lots, and leads to less modes of exiting at the end of the day, which leads to a longer wait to get out of school for students, faculty, and parents alike.

And finally, the Town Center.

One of the biggest complaints from the Town Center is the restriction of a right turn onto 434 at the intersection of Tuskawilla Road and 434. While there is a side road that is supposed to be used for turning right, people tend to ignore it and turn right anyway which, if not careful, causes accidents.

Thankfully, right turn access will be allowed upon completion of the Town Center and the side road is being repurposed for other uses. In addition to the road, the Town Center is getting upgraded in the ways of parking, turning movements, and general aesthetics.
Winter Springs has come a long way from the rural, country town it was upon its conception. With these improvements, Winter Springs will for sure continue to grow and flourish.