According to existingcountries.com, State Route 408 or State Road 408 (SR-408), commonly known as the Spessard L. Holland East-West Expressway, is a highway and toll highway in the U.S. state of Florida. The highway forms an east-west connection in the Orlando metropolitan area and is 36 kilometers long.
State Road 408 begins at Ocoee at a half star interchange with Florida’s Turnpike. The highway initially has 2×2, but soon 2×3 lanes and leads east through suburban area. The motorway has relatively many connections for a toll road. At the height of downtown Orlando, a large interchange follows with Interstate 4, which is a 4-level stack. Through eastern Orlando, the toll road has 2×4 to 2×5 lanes and is one of the widest toll roads in Florida. In the eastern suburbs one crosses State Road 417, which forms the Orlando ring road. The highway then has 2×3 lanes and narrows at University Park to 2×2 lanes, after which the highway at State Road 50ends, in the east of the Orlando metro area.
According to Anycountyprivateschools, State Road 50 was originally the main east-west route through Orlando. Near downtown Orlando were busy intersections where I-4, US 17, US 92, and US 441 converge. To improve the traffic situation, State Road 408 has been constructed as an east-west toll road through the city.
Construction of the highway began in 1972. Initially, 21 kilometers of State Road 408 was constructed. On October 26, 1973, the western 7 miles was opened from Kirkland Road to Mills Avenue just east of downtown Orlando. On December 11, 1973, a five-mile extension to Goldenrod Road opened in Azalea Park. In 1987, the eastern extension of State Road 408 through the expanding suburban area east of Orlando began. On May 12, 1989, 6 kilometers opened up to Rouse Road. In June 1989, the remainder of the route opened to SR-50. On April 14, 1990, the interchange opened with State Route 417. Then the toll road had to go west to Florida’s Turnpikebe extended. Construction of this 7-kilometre stretch began in 1989 and this segment was opened on October 8, 1990, completing the toll road in its current form.
The toll road is named after Spessard L. Holland (1892-1971), a Florida politician who served as the state’s governor from 1941 to 1945 and a U.S. Senator for the state of Florida from 1946 to 1971.
Between 2003 and 2010, the western and central part of the highway was widened to 2×3 lanes. Between 2006 and 2010, the east Orlando toll road was widened from 2×3 to 2×4 to 2×5 lanes to Goldenrod Road. Later in the 2011-2013 period, the highway was widened further east to 2×4 lanes and the junction with State Road 417 was also expanded with additional flyovers. As of 2016, the highway has been widened further west to 2×3 lanes from Hiawassee Road to Good Homes Road. In 2018-2019, the section east of State Road 417 was also widened to 2×3 lanes, almost to the terminus at State Road 50.
Reconstruction of junction I-4
The interchange with I-4 has been reconstructed twice in quick succession. The original interchange was two trumpet connections with a toll plaza in between, because I-4 is toll-free. In 2006-2007, the interchange was reconstructed with an improved west-north connection so that traffic to Downtown Orlando no longer had to go through the two trumpet connections. A flyover from the east to the north has also been constructed. As part of the I-4 Ultimate project, the node was reconstructed again between 2016 and 2021, but on a larger scale, turning the node into a 4-level stack. The two original trumpet connections have been demolished. The interchange flyovers provide direct access to and from the express lanes on I-4.
|Exit 5 / Kirkman Road||Exit 11B / Mills Avenue||11 km||26-10-1973|
|Exit 11B / Mills Avenue||Exit 16 / Goldenrod Road||8 km||11-12-1973|
|Exit 16 / Goldenrod Road||Exit 20 / Rouse Road||6 km||12-05-1989|
|Exit 20 / Rouse Road||Exit 23 / SR-50||5 km||00-06-1989|
|Exit 0 / Florida’s Turnpike||Exit 5 / Kirkman Road||8 km||08-10-1990|
It is planned to extend State Route 408 east to Interstate 95 in Brevard County in the future. This would extend the highway 35 to 40 kilometers, and will run parallel to State Road 528. The extended toll road should especially relieve the load on State Road 50. Construction is not yet a high priority. In 2015 a study was started for an extension to State Route 520. However, in 2016 the extension of the toll road became uncertain and in 2018 it was decided not to build the extension.
State Road 408 is a toll road, operated by the Central Florida Expressway Authority. The toll collection is largely electronic with the E-Pass. The SunPass is also accepted.
86,000 to 100,000 vehicles drive daily between Florida’s Turnpike and I-4, peaking at 169,000 vehicles per day in the east of the city. This again drops to 76,000 vehicles east of State Road 417.