Seminole County is planning to fill two frustrating gaps in the 23-mile Cross Seminole Trail, allowing cyclists to travel all the way from Lake Mary to Orlando by connecting to Orange County's Cady Way Trail.
In downtown Oviedo, there's a gap of nearly half a mile at State Road 434. And in Winter Springs, two segments of the trail end within about a mile of each other. Trail users who aren't so confused that they just give up must walk along a dirt path for several hundred feet, then travel through an industrial park to reach the other segment near Layer Elementary School.
"The trail is great … but I'm sure that many people don't know it keeps going when they reach one of these gaps," said Ron Csuy of Winter Springs, while riding his bike on the Cross Seminole Trail recently.
In August, work crews are scheduled to begin extending the trail in downtown Oviedo about half a mile eastward, from South Central Avenue to an aquatic facility off Oviedo Boulevard.
The $266,000 project is scheduled to be completed by next spring. The remainder of the gap will be filled by sidewalks along County Road 419, known as Broadway Street.
Plans call for adding wider sidewalks along State Road 434 when that road is improved in about two years. That would give trail users a shorter link between the two trail segments.
"It's very exciting to finally see this project moving forward," Oviedo Mayor Dominic Persampiere said. "The trail system is such an integral part of Oviedo's downtown."
County officials said that in Winter Springs, they're negotiating with several property owners to acquire the land needed to complete the missing link of the trail.
That project will cost up to $500,000, and construction could start in about a year.
"It's been very frustrating, but I'm glad to see that they're working on it," Winter Springs Mayor Charles Lacey said. "The trail is an amenity for our citizens."
From Oviedo, the Cross Seminole Trail heads south to the intersection of Aloma Avenue and Howell Branch Road in Goldenrod, where it joins the Cady Way Trail. That trail runs south to the Orlando Fashion Square Mall near downtown Orlando.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun