Winter Garden, FL (Jan, 2020)
The city is starting an ambitious redevelopment project along South Dillard Street and has plans to realign the West Orange Trail in two places and create a downtown “Central Park.”
Dillard Street is an important north-south gateway to downtown Winter Garden, but this main thoroughfare — which brings residents and guests to the bustling Plant Street corridor — is an unattractive one-mile, five-lane stretch of road as far as the eye can see.
City leaders have been working on a plan that drastically will change the aesthetics and the driving experience along Dillard, creating a respectable entry to downtown that is safer for the community.
The city has held workshops to gather input from residents and businesses. Their suggestions included a more attractive, pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly roadway with slower speeds and the ability to draw quality commerce to the city.
Once the Dillard Street Reconstruction Project is completed — officials estimate around one year — the road will have three lanes, three roundabouts, a bike trail, landscaping and about a dozen pedestrian crosswalks.
City officials have been working with a consulting engineering firm, Cribb Philbeck Weaver Group, and a design contractor, Toole Design Group, to create a concept and carry out the vision.
City Manager Mike Bollhoefer said the total cost is $19 million and includes stormwater and utility work, as well as power line burial. The largest portion of the cost is replacing all of the old underground pipes, he said.