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Kirkman Extension Work Underway to Connect Universal Orlando to Epic Universe

By Alicia Stella, Theme Park Shark Author

Updated 4:43 PM EDT, Wed February 17, 2021

Orange County

Universal is working with Orange County to extend Kirkman Road 1.7 miles south, connecting their current resort to their future expansion land.

Recent permits filed with Orange County, Florida show that water irrigation work is starting on the Kirkman extension project. This is a joint venture between Universal Orlando and the county to extend the road 1.7 miles south.

The project is expected to be completed by April 30, 2025 at the latest, and will cost a total of $305 million. Universal is heading up the project, and is covering more than half the cost, $164 million, as well as any overages.

Orange County

While major construction on the Epic Universe theme park is currently paused due to the pandemic, utility work and other support work around the site has continued.

The most recent permits relating to the Kirkman extension are for installing a new reclaimed water main to an existing water main on Universal Boulevard. While utilities work has started now, actual road work is set to begin later this year, by December 1st at the latest.

Orange County
Recent permit for irrigation work related to Kirkman extension

The Kirkman extension will have eight total travel lanes, including two dedicated bus lanes down the center. This will help facilitate travel between the existing Universal Orlando Resort and the new Epic Universe site. Pedestrian pathways and bike lanes are also expected according to the proposed plans.

Regardless of the timeline for the Epic Universe theme park itself, the roadway will likely prove useful for Universal as there are also plans to construct additional hotels at the new site, which sits less than 2 miles away from their recent additions of the Endless Summer Resort hotels.

Orange County
Labels added showing first possible sites for new hotels around new theme park

Orange County says the Kirkman extension will increase mobility in the corridor for residents, businesses and tourists. The project is expected to create hundreds of temporary construction jobs in the area.

Stay tuned for more news on Epic Universe, as well as other Universal Orlando Resort expansions as they happen.

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Alicia Stella

Alicia Stella

Alicia is a lifelong Floridian and has been visiting the Orlando theme parks since the age of 3. Her years of experience, both working at and exploring theme parks, allows her a unique perspective for helping others plan and get the most out of their own visits to the Orlando parks.

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