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Hicks Avenue Transformation

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Hicks Avenue Transformation

A visionary road project is poised to improve safety and reunify a divided community in downtown Orlando.

Griffin Park, which began in 1940 as a public-housing project, was once a vital part of the Parramore Heritage Neighborhood just west of Orlando’s Central Business District. By the 1970s, however, the interchange of Interstate 4 (I-4) and State Road (S.R.) 408 surrounded Griffin Park, isolating it from the greater Parramore community.

Recently, the Florida Department of Transportation’s I-4 Ultimate project has transformed the I-4/S.R. 408 interchange, constructing new flyover connections, and removing the ramps that once separated Griffin Park from its neighbors.

Now, an exciting new project will revitalize the area and restore the historic ties between Griffin Park and Parramore by extending Hicks Avenue south from Anderson Street to Gore Street.

The planned Hicks Avenue extension begins with a new intersection and traffic signal at Anderson Street.

Heading south, the new road offers car, bicycle, and pedestrian connections to Long Street.

Hicks Avenue passes effortlessly under S.R. 408.

A roundabout keeps drivers and pedestrians moving safely through a new intersection with Carter Street.

New sidewalks and streetlamps along both sides of Hicks Avenue make the area safer for pedestrians.

A second roundabout creates a seamless connection between Hicks Avenue and Conley Street.

More than two dozen on-street parking spaces complete Hicks Avenue between Carter Street and Gore Street.

Motorists have easy access to westbound I-4 from Hicks Avenue via the Gore Street on-ramp.

Busy highway ramps once formed a physical and visual barrier between Griffin Park and Parramore. With the barrier gone, the neighborhoods are reunited.

By removing the barriers that isolated Griffin Park, and restoring its historic ties to Parramore, the I-4 Ultimate and Hicks Avenue extension projects are making connections that matter — connections between neighbors.

A Historic Community

Located just west of Orlando’s Central Business District, the Parramore Heritage Neighborhood is experiencing a lot of growth while preserving its rich history.

Griffin Park opened in 1941 with 24 buildings as Orlando’s first affordable housing project. The 174-unit neighborhood was built on 131/2 acres owned by the City of Orlando.

The neighborhood was named in memory of “Uncle” Charlie Griffin, a former enslaved person who lived in Orange County from 1883 until his passing in 1938 at the age of 102. Griffin Park would be added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1996.

Upon its opening, Griffin Park sat on the edge of the vibrant Parramore community that was the hub of activity for many African American Central Floridians.

A who’s who list of musicians including Cab Callaway, Ella Fitzgerald, Ray Charles and B.B. King made stops to perform in Parramore through the 1950s.

Parramore thrived with restaurants, shops, and offices until 1962 when the construction of Interstate 4 required the elimination of some Griffin Park buildings and displacement of more than 550 Parramore properties. The raised expressway permanently closed some streets, bisecting downtown Orlando.

Work on the I-4/State Road 408 interchange began in 1972, encircling Griffin Park with ramps and high-speed travel lanes, further isolating the neighborhood from the Parramore community. Fast forward to today, and connections are being rebuilt.

Enter:
I-4 Ultimate

Reconstruction of Central Florida’s busiest roadway — Interstate 4 — will leave a blank canvas between Griffin Park and the picturesque Z. L. Riley Park for the Florida Department of Transportation to lay out its plans for Hicks Avenue.

Transformation of the I-4 and State Road (S.R.) 408 interchange has been the most striking, dramatically changing the Orlando skyline with sweeping flyovers stretching more than 120 feet into the sky.

Demolition of the antiquated trumpet ramps that divided the Parramore neighborhood has begun and construction on the new Hicks Avenue is expected to begin in 2022 under a different contract from I-4 Ultimate.

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Roundabouts

Roundabouts are among the key features that will improve safety and create a smooth drive through Hicks Avenue. Learn more below about what to expect and how to use these innovative traffic features.

Multi-lane Roundabout
Single-lane Roundabout
Roundabouts: Safe for Pedestrians & Bicyclists