The second route, which was envisioned in 2010, would utilize state road 528 but cost $2.1 billion, require 1.9 million square feet of bridges, affect 76 private properties, and involve an arrangement with SunRail. The cheaper option would require about 342,000 square feet of bridges and only involve three private properties. The routes are approximately the same length of 16.7 miles, as pictured below.
Some do object to the S.R. 417 option. Hunters Creek residents are worried about noise and vibration from a train next to the road. Fans of the S.R. 528 route also want a connection to International Drive and the Orange County Convention Center.
“We think there are better, other ways to connect the important convention center area and I-Drive to the airport. That needs to happen. It’s imperative,” Michael Cegelis, executive VP of infrastructure development, told leaders of the Central Florida Expressway Authority. “We think there are other, more efficient ways to do it than an hourly, intercity train.”
Jay Madara, a member of the Central Florida Expressway Authority, asked for further analysis of costs, preferring the S.R. 528 route.
Brightline is in the midst of a $2.7 billion extension from West Palm Beach to Orlando, which is expected to begin service in 2023. Construction on the Disney Springs station is expected to begin five years from now, and Brightline is also hoping to build 68 miles of rail connecting the station to Tampa.
The Florida Department of Transportation has given Brightline a deadline of mid-summer to secure cooperation with federal, state, and local agencies for the Tampa expansion.