CONSTRUCTION – On April 18, Orchard Pond Parkway will open to the public. The grand opening will be held at 10:00 am, the morning of the 18th at the toll gantry on the Parkway itself. If you haven’t seen the new parkway, it is gorgeous! Even if it isn’t in your normal driving area, it will be worth the trip to check it out during the free-travel days prior to Monday, May 2.
Orchard Pond Parkway is a 5-mile toll road roughly paralleling or crossing the path of the historic Orchard Pond Road, running between Meridian Road and Old Bainbridge Road. The road includes two paved 12-foot traffic lanes and an adjacent walking-jogging-biking trail. The existing dirt road on the west side of the route will be converted into a mountain bike trail. Landscaping will be included, along with several wildlife crossings, and features to reduce stormwater runoff into adjacent lakes that discharge into Lake Jackson.
The Parkway will provide a shortened route to the Tallahassee International Airport and the northwest side of Tallahassee for those living in the city’s extreme northeast area. The toll road is projected to serve 1,300 cars per day in its first year, growing to 2,500 cars per day by 2020. The current dirt Orchard Pond Road, which currently has 900 car trips per day will close to automobile traffic on April 18th at 1:00pm.
The toll is $1.19 for SunPass users and $1.69 (plus administrative charges) for non-SunPass users, through the TOLL-BY-PLATE system. However, toll collection will not begin until May 2, so the first 2 weeks will be free of charge.
If you do not have a SunPass you may purchase one at CVS Pharmacy, Walgreens, Publix, or on SunPass.com. Businesses with fleets that need SunPass, can visit SunPass.com or call 1-888-TOLL-FLA and they will help you set up a commercial account.
For more information please visit orchardpondparkway.com or find us on Facebook.