Orange County Awarded $20 Million Federal BUILD Grant to Reimagine Mobility in the Region
National leaders recently gathered in Lake Nona to announce the recipients of $900 million in federal BUILD grants awarded by the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Among the recipients, Orange County, Fla. was awarded a $20 million grant to create a robust Local Alternative Mobility Network (LAMN) in Tavistock Group’s Lake Nona community in the City of Orlando, accommodating and enabling new transportation solutions for metro Orlando’s fastest growing regions.
Specifically, the BUILD grant funding will go toward creating new and modifying existing infrastructure in Lake Nona, including multi-modal corridors with dedicated autonomous vehicle lanes, bicycle and pedestrian pathways, an integrated and multi-use mobility hub, and support for autonomous vehicles (AV), all designed to reduce automobile dependency. This is the first BUILD grant awarded to Central Florida and Tavistock is contributing to match $23 million.
Joined by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao made the announcement in the heart of the Lake Nona community, one of the fastest growing regions in the state of Florida and one of the best-selling communities in America.
“The Administration is targeting BUILD Transportation grants to repair, rebuild, and revitalize significant infrastructure projects across the country,” said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao.
“With this ambitious project, we strive to create better mobility options,” said Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings. “This is about looking ahead to new technologies and innovative transportation solutions to ensure the future mobility of our residents and visitors. Tavistock has continued to be a great partner in our community espousing smart growth and innovation in community-building. We are pleased that they have stepped up to be the sponsor for this exciting project.”
The LAMN project includes five major components aimed at reducing automobile dependency: a full-service mobility hub, infrastructure for autonomous vehicles, a bicycle transportation network, linear park, and linear park bridge. Each component is designed to work with the others to enable intelligent solutions for regional and local transportation in Lake Nona, a rapidly growing area of Orange County within the City of Orlando limits and adjacent to Orlando International Airport, and will better connect residents, visitors, veterans and students to employment centers, medical facilities, essential services, retail, education and entertainment options.
“This is an incredible win for the region and yet another example of how the right public-private partnerships can distinguish themselves and win big when we collaborate together,” said Rasesh Thakkar, senior managing director of Tavistock. “The Local Alternative Mobility Network is a forward-thinking project within the Lake Nona living lab environment that will better position Orange County and Orlando for a new wave of multi-modal transportation solutions, all with a view toward scaling the learnings from this innovation to the rest of the region, the state and the country.”
In addition to the LAMN proposal, Orange County will use key findings from the development and operation of the project that will help expand the program to other parts of the County, including applications in improving mobility for the county’s 1.4 million residents and 75 million annual visitors.