Winter Park downsizing road, adding multi-use trail

By Erin Murray, Reporter
Last Updated: Friday, February 09, 2018, 11:22 AM EST

Construction is underway in Winter Park that will reduce the number of lanes on Denning Drive and create a multi-use trail that will eventually connect several cities.

  • Winter Park reducing lanes along Denning Drive
  • Multi-use trail going in, stretching from Mead Garden to Webster
  • Entire construction project should be done this summer

Phase two of the work, along Denning Drive between Fairbanks Avenue and Morse Boulevard, started Monday and will last six to eight weeks. The work includes turning the four-lane stretch of road into two lanes, adding in a middle left-turn lane in some areas and adding a 10-foot, multi-use trail.

“It definitely adds value to the community," said Jonathan Springer, a father. "I am a Realtor, so those types of things are nice to be able to talk about, and I think more want to live, work and play all in the same place,” he said.

Springer’s excitement was echoed by others in the park.

“It’s difficult to find areas that are safe to recreate or even ride our bicycles and deal with traffic and that sort of thing, so a multi-use trail is perfect. We would definitely use it frequently,” said Chad Gerhard, who lives in Winter Park.

Once finished, the trail will stretch from Mead Botanical Garden to Webster Avenue.

Winter Park traffic manager Butch Margraf said the work will create a connector between several cities.

“Eventually, we are going to work with a developer that is up off of Lee Road and (U.S.) 17-92 and make a connection into Maitland and into Eatonville so there is a nice connection spine right through the city,” Margraf said.

This project was approved by the Community Redevelopment Agency in February 2017. And although there were people who didn’t support the downsizing of the road, Margraf said traffic numbers show the road is underutilized.

“We just need a little bit of patience through this construction,” Margraf said.

The entire project should be completed by the end of summer 2018.

“We are not used to a lot of traffic and construction, so it's something we are learning to deal," Gerhard said. "But we know it’s for a good cause, so it’s just kind of one of those things where you just deal with it.”