Orange County Commissioners to vote on $125M contribution to Universal for road expansion

Orange County Commissioners are set to vote Tuesday on a possible extension for Kirkman Road, which would be vital to Universal’s expansion plans for its new theme park Epic Universe.

The new park will be a huge addition to the theme park world in Orlando. It is also expected to bring a lot of traffic to the immediate area as well. 

So leaders agree the solution is to extend Kirkman Road, but the cost is causing some controversy – hundreds of millions of dollars.

With a projected opening date sometime in 2023, the time is now to plan ahead for Epic Universe. 

“It’s more than a park, it’s hotels, it’s shops, it’s restaurants, it’s a whole resort,” Universal Parks & Resorts Chairman and CEO Tom Williams said.  

RELATED: Report: Universal's new 'Epic Universe' theme park expected to open in 2023

Promising to be bigger and better than any theme park we’ve seen, the park will be part of a 750-acre resort located just southeast of the current Universal property.

“We want to create a level of experience, that frankly forever changes the theme park landscape as we know it today,” Williams said.  

But that landscape will also have an epic effect on roads – specifically Kirkman Road.

“I think the roads have trouble handling where we are now,” Orange County Commissioner Mayra Uribe said. “We are definitely going to have to work on the infrastructure of our roads.”

Orange County Commissioners said there are already plans in place, but not enough money to go around. The total cost is estimated to be over $300 million for the road project. 

According to official documents, Orange County is agreeing to contribute $125 million. The amount of money has sparked some controversy that will be up for discussion and then a vote.