ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Hundreds of people packed an Orange County commissioners meeting Tuesday to voice concerns about a $125 million deal with Universal Orlando to help expand Kirkman Road to the company’s upcoming theme park.
Orange County commissioners approved the motion for the extension Tuesday evening with a 4-3 vote on the county’s incentive deal with the theme park in which the county will provide $125 million for the extension of Kirkman Road connecting the theme park company’s 750-acre property, including its future attraction, Epic Universe. Universal Studios also plans on contributing $160 million to the project, which is anticipated to cost $315 million.
The proposed project would route six lanes of traffic from Carrier Road to Universal Boulevard, where Epic Universe is expected to open in 2023.
The deal has been a hot topic for residents because the $125 million will come out of the Community Redevelopment Area (CRA funds) specifically for the I-Drive corridor, which is collected in taxes from part of the district that includes International Drive.