ORLANDO, Fla. - What has been described as an eyesore in the heart of Orlando's tourist district has been cleaned up and fenced off, after people were using it for illegal dumping and parking.
Back in March Donny Smith told FOX 35 News about illegal parking and dumping on the property along Interstate 4, so we took his concerns to Orange County, and they took action. An Orange County spokesperson said it took the Public Works Department six weeks to clean up the property and cost an estimated $60,000 to clear the area and install a new fence.
"It makes me feel good. It makes me feel like someone’s listening to us," said Smith.
It’s like night and day after the county conducted the major cleaning.
A refrigerator, dryer, mattress, and rest of the mess are all gone.
"It’s amazing! It’s definitely a breath of fresh air to see the response after our last story ran."
The biggest challenge for the county was removing trucks. Over at Commissioner Nicole Wilson's office, residents called to thank employees for a job well done.
Shortly after our first story aired, Orange County sheriff’s deputies placed citations on several of the vehicles that were parked on the property illegally.
"People camping out overnight. There were trucks parked illegally along the road," Smith explained. "[There was] a lot of activity here."
A tent that was here, is now gone. In fact, the county cleared several trees from the lot as well.
"It had turned into a junkyard before, so they obviously cleaned all that up. Got rid of a lot of vegetation."
Smith said the new fence will also keep people out of the area.
"Vinyl coded chain-linked fence. It’s really… like I said, it really exceeded my expectations. It’s not a job they did halfway. They did a complete job here, this is amazing."
This area is located at Turkey Lake and Sand Lake Road, along I-4 westbound before the State Road 528 interchange. It's also just a block removed from International Drive. Now, when thousands of drivers pass through here, there’s no longer a big mess. It definitely looks much cleaner.
"This is our front door to Orlando. As you can see just across the street is I-Drive and all the tourist areas that are in here."
Smith's grateful to everyone who responded to his concerns, to keep the county clean.
"Thanks FOX 35 News for making the community aware of this problem. It definitely created a response here that exceeded my expectations."