Florida's Turnpike South - Wildwood to Orlando

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Florida's Turnpike South
Construction completed in January 2020 expanded the wye interchange where Florida's Turnpike splits from Interstate 75 south. Added was a new distributor roadway extending south from adjacent SR 44 at Wildwood. Photo taken 01/20/20.
Florida's Turnpike begins from I-75 at Left Exit 328. A flyover also joins the toll road from SR 44. Photo taken 01/20/20.
The first confirming marker for Florida's Turnpike southbound. Photo taken 01/20/20.
The state legislature designated Florida's Turnpike the Ronald Reagan Turnpike in 1988. Signs honoring the 40th President of the U.S. appear sporadically on the toll road mainline. Photo taken 01/20/20.
Southbound mileage sign posted 55 miles from Orlando and 275 miles from Miami. Originally the Turnpike was called the Sunshine State Parkway, with plans extending the road northeast from Wildwood to Jacksonville. Photo taken 01/20/20.
Two miles northwest of the diamond interchange (Exit 304) with U.S. 301 to the cities of Coleman and Wildwood. Photo taken 01/20/20.
The first in the series of Florida's Turnpike Service Plazas lies nine miles south from the split with I-75 at Okahumpka. Photo taken 04/28/08.
The link from I-75 to U.S. 301 on Florida's Turnpike is toll free. The toll collection system begins southward beyond Exit 304. Photo taken 01/20/20.
The Villages master planned community spreads northward from Wildwood between U.S. 301 and U.S. 441 and south of the Turnpike along Sumter County Road 468 (Warm Springs Avenue). Photo taken 01/20/20.
U.S. 301 follows Main Street north to SR 44 (Gulf Atlantic Highway) ahead of Downtown Wildwood. Southward, the US highway meets CR 468 near the Village of Fenney development en route to Coleman, Sumterville and Bushnell. Photo taken 01/20/20.
Exit 304 departs Florida's Turnpike south for U.S. 301 (Main Street) in Wildwood. Photo taken 01/20/20.
The Villages consists of several developments forming one overall community that stretches overall across portions of Lake, Marion and Sumter Counties. Photo taken 01/20/20.
SR 44 east from U.S. 301 leads to the Lake County seat of Leesburg. Photo taken 01/20/20.
U.S. 301 parallels Interstate 75 southward to Dade City and Tampa and north from Wildwood to Ocala. Photo taken 01/20/20.
Continuing south, Florida's Turnpike next meets State Road 470 near Okahumpka. The original Wildwood main line toll plaza was located just beyond a brief roadway separation east of U.S. 301. Toll collection here ceased on July 7, 1995, with subsequent demolition of the booths completed as part of a $42 million modernization project to switch the northern Turnpike from ticket-based to coin-based toll collection.1 Photo taken 04/28/08.
"Welcome to Main Street Florida" sign posted on the Turnpike southbound. The Main Street segment of the toll road is considered to be the mainline between I-75 in Sumter County and Golden Glades in Miami-Dade County. Photo taken 04/28/08.
Turnpike Service Plazas are positioned every 45 minutes according to this sign along southbound between Exits 304 and 296. The facilities provide the main motorists services for 90 miles on the rural stretch between St. Cloud and Ft. Pierce. Photo taken 04/28/08.
Two miles ahead of the Okahumpka Service Plaza on the Turnpike south. The area is typical of those on the toll road, lying between the north and southbound roadways. Photo taken 04/28/08.
Sumter County Road 468 passes over Florida's Turnpike one mile north of the Okahumpka Service Plaza. With expansion of the Villages community southward, the county road was expanded into a four-lane arterial. Provisions were made during 2016-17 road work for a possible interchange with the Turnpike here. Photo taken 04/28/08.
Southbound at the left exit for the Okahumpka Service Plaza on Florida's Turnpike. The facility provides fuel, food and tourist information. Photo taken 04/28/08.
Additionally, automatic windshield wash stations are available at the Okahumpka Service Plaza for both cars and trucks. Dead insects, love bugs in particular, are a reoccuring problem for motorists traveling through Central and North Florida. Photo taken 04/28/08.
Reassurance shield posted beyond the service plaza. An agricultural overpass crosses in the distance. Photo taken 04/28/08.
Next in line for southbound drivers is the parclo A2 interchange (Exit 296) with SR 470 and CR 470. Lake County Road 470 serves the Leesburg area with connections to CR 33 and U.S. 27. Photo taken 04/28/08.
One mile guide sign for Exit 296 posted on Florida's Turnpike southbound. Lake County Road 470 travels east to Okahumpka (CR 33 and 48). The county road west to Sumterville (U.S. 301) was upgraded to a state road during a mileage transfer for SR 48 at Bushnell. Photo taken 04/28/08.
Entering Lake County on Florida's Turnpike southbound. The toll road traverses 11 counties overall. Photo taken 04/28/08.
Exit 296 opened to traffic in 2005, improving access from Florida's Turnpike to northern Lake County including Leesburg and Howey-In-The-Hills. CR 48 continues east from CR 470 to SR 19 through Howey-In-The-Hills. Photo taken 04/28/08.
Decorative street lighting lines the ramps between Florida's Turnpike and SR 470 / CR 470 at Exit 296. SR 470 extends west into Sumter County through a mix of ranch and forest land to I-75. Photo taken 04/28/08.
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Seven miles separate Turnpike drivers from the Okahumpka area and Lake County's second interchange (U.S. 27). Photos taken 09/01/18.
U.S. 27 meets Florida's Turnpike directly at a half diamond interchange (Exit 289) just beyond Dilly Lake/Marsh in two miles. Photo taken 09/01/18.
Forthcoming Exit 289 connects Florida's Turnpike with SR 19 north to U.S. 441 at Tavares and the Lake Eustis Seaplane Base. Photo taken 09/01/18.
Leesburg, centered in an area between Lake Harris and Lake Griffin, lies ten miles northward along U.S. 27 from Exit 289. Photo taken 09/01/18.
U.S. 27 provides a route to Walt Disney World from the west, but SR 429 (Western Beltway) is a more direct and higher speed route to the theme park from Florida's Turnpike south. Photo taken 09/01/18.
Bridges Road spans Florida's Turnpike on the one mile approach to Exit 289. Clermont, a suburban bedroom community for Orlando, lies southeast along U.S. 27 at SR 50. Photo taken 09/01/18.
SR 19 leads north from U.S. 27 to Howey-In-The-Hills and south to SR 50 at Groveland. Photo taken 09/01/18.
The Leesburg Main Line Toll Plaza lies just east of the U.S. 27 overpass at milepost 288. Photo taken 09/01/18.
The ramps at Exit 289 were built in conjunction with the new Leesburg main line Toll Plaza that replaced the previous Wildwood facility 14 miles to the northwest. Construction for the new exit got underway in January 1994.2,3 Photo taken 09/01/18.
Exit 289 departs Florida's Turnpike southbound for U.S. 27 (Claude Pepper Memorial Highway) to SR 19. SR 19 meets U.S. 27 at a parclo B2 interchange south of the former trumpet interchange (Exit 285) with the Turnpike, four miles southeast. Prior to July 1995, all traffic for both routes used the ramps at Exit 285.4 Photo taken 09/01/18.
Drivers departing the Turnpike at Exit 289 are charged half the toll rate of the Turnpike mainline. Photo taken 04/28/08.
U.S. 27 south from Clermont leads to Four Corners and U.S. 192 east toward Walt Disney World. This is not a fast route because of rampant development at both Clermont and in the Four Corners area. Photo taken 04/28/08.
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SR 19 leads north from U.S. 27 nines mile through Howey-In-The-Hills en route to the Lake County seat of Taveras at U.S. 441 and CR Old 441. U.S. 27 parallels the Turnpike before turning south through Minneola to reach the Clermont city line in 11 miles. Photos taken 04/28/08.
The off-ramp at Exit 289 defaults onto U.S. 27 (Claude Pepper Memorial Highway) southbound to Clermont and SR 19. A U-turn lane located across from the South Lake Hospital ER at Blue Cedar provides for the northbound movement for U.S. 27 to Okahumpka. The hospital facility opened in the southeast quadrant of the interchange in summer 2018. Photo taken 04/28/08.
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Construction on the Leesburg toll plaza got underway by February 1993. The toll plaza was built during a 73-mile improvement project to convert the Turnpike between I-75 and St. Cloud from ticket-based toll collection to a coin-operated collection system.2,4 Photos taken 09/01/18.
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With increased usage of Florida's Turnpike by commuters, the toll road switched from the ticket-based toll collection system. The system was in use from 1957 to August 20, 1995 between Wildwood and St. Cloud August 20, 1995 and to 1990 at South Florida.5 Photos taken 09/01/18.
Ronald Reagan Turnpike sign southbound at milepost 287. Photo taken 09/01/18.
Florida's Turnpike crosses over SR 19 and plies across wetland areas associated with the Little Everglades beyond this confirming marker. Photo taken 02/25/17.
Florida's Turnpike joins Sumter and Lake Counties with greater Orlando. A 16-mile stretch leads the Turnpike southeast into Orange County, where SR 50 crosses the toll road east from Clermont. Photo taken 02/25/17.
A long straight away parallels U.S. 27 southeast between Montgomery and Schoolhouse Lakes. The two diverge beyond CR 561 near Shepherd Lake. Scrub Jay Lane spans the Turnpike in the distance. Photo taken 02/25/17.
Construction completed on June 10, 2017 added a parclo interchange with Hancock Road in the city of Minneola. Located at milepost 279, the $29 million exchange will serve over 10,000 homes approved for the immediate area.6 Photo taken 09/01/18.
Rolling hills make up the landscape of southern Lake County. Rising to a height of 312 feet, Sugarloaf Mountain, the tallest point on Peninsular Florida, lies a short distance north of Hancock Road. Montverde lies to the east along Lake Apopka. Photo taken 09/01/18.
Hancock Road constitutes a suburban arterial winding south from the Turnpike in Minneola to SR 50 in east Clermont. The road extends north with two lanes to CR 561A within the vicinity of Sugarloaf Mountain (el. 312 feet). Photo taken 09/01/18.
Opening of the Minneola interchange precedes a four-year project to widen Florida's Turnpike from Hancock Road (Exit 279) south to SR 50 (Exit 272) in fall 2020. The Hills of Minneola 4,000-home and the Bella Collina 800-home planned developments by Exit 279 will add to the commuter traffic along the ensuing stretch.7 Photo taken 09/01/18.
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Subdivisions abut the west side of Florida's Turnpike on the ensuing stretch southeast by Blacks Still Lake. Photos taken 09/01/18.
Florida's Turnpike curves eastward on the two mile approach to SR 50 (Exit 272). SR 50 (West Colonial Drive) joins Oakland and Winter Garden with the annexed areas of Clermont to the west. Photo taken 02/25/17.
One mile west of the diamond interchange (Exit 272) with SR 50 (West Colonial Drive). Costing $10.7 million, the exchange was constructed from May 1991 until May 1, 1993, when the east side ramps debuted to traffic.8 The west side ramps were not opened until the Leesburg toll plaza commenced operations in 1995.2 Photo taken 02/25/17.
Entering Orange County on Florida's Turnpike southbound. Seven interchanges line the turnpike within the county. Photo taken 02/25/17.
Exit 272 serves the town of Oakland and city of Winter Garden on the south side of Lake Apopka and suburban areas of both communities around Johns Lake to the south. SR 50 provides one of two routes between Oakland and Winter Garden with Oakland Avenue (CR 438) being the other. Photo taken 02/25/17.
Oakland Avenue and the parallel West Orange Trail pass over the toll road within one half mile of Exit 272. The trail follows the path of a former railroad line throughout western Orange County. Photo taken 09/01/18.
Florida's Turnpike southbound at the off-ramp (Exit 272) to SR 50 (West Colonial Drive). SR 50 heads west one mile to the Lake County line en route to Clermont and U.S. 27 and east a half mile to Tubb Street south of Downtown Oakland. The state road connects with the Turnpike again in five miles. Photo taken 09/01/18.
Continuing beyond Exit 272, a reassurance shield appeared after the 4th Street overpass to the Lake John Shores subdivision. This sign was taken down by September 2018. Photo taken 02/25/17.
Florida's Turnpike expands to eight overall lanes from Exit 272 southeast to south Orange County. Back to back ramps depart in quick succession from the southbound mainline in four miles for SR 429 (Daniel Webster Western Beltway) and SR 50 (West Colonial Drive). Photo taken 02/25/17.
A series of signs direct visitors to the Orlando area to various points of interest. Florida's Turnpike south to SR 528 (Beachline Expressway) east is the most direct route to Orlando International Airport (MCO). Photo taken 02/25/17.
Florida's Turnpike and Interstate 4 cross paths in 13 miles near Universal Orlando and the north end of International Drive (I-Drive). Photo taken 02/25/17.
The Western Beltway circumvents the congestion of I-4 south from Florida's Turnpike at Ocoee to the west side of Walt Disney World. Photo taken 02/25/17.
SR 429 (Western Beltway) serves the west suburbs of Orlando, including the cities of Apopka, Winter Garden and Ocoee. The toll road was completed south to I-4 in Osceola County in December 2006. Photo taken 02/25/17.
Exit 267B represents the original Turnpike connection with SR 50 (West Colonial Drive) at Ocoee. West Colonial Drive continues east as a four to six-lane commercial arterial from Ocoee to West Oaks Mall, Pine Hills and Orlo Vista. Photo taken 09/01/18.
Daniels Road spans Florida's Turnpike one mile west of the systems interchange (Exit 267A) with SR 429 (Western Beltway). Maintained by the Central Florida Expressway Authority (CFX) and Florida's Turnpike Enterprise (FTE), SR 429 comprises a 59-mile loop, with the Wekiva Parkway section north to Sanford under construction through 2020. Photo taken 02/25/17.
A half mile west of the separation with Exit 267A for SR 429 on Florida's Turnpike south at the Beulah Road underpass. The Western Beltway wraps around the south side of Winter Garden to the Horizon West community near Lake Hancock. The toll road continues from there to Western Way to Disney World and suburban areas of northwest Osceola County. Photo taken 09/01/18.
Drivers bound for the both directions of the Western Beltway depart the Turnpike southbound in unison at Exit 267A. Northward, the beltway takes a winding course east of Lake Apopka through north Ocoee to combine with SR 414 (John Land Apopka Expressway) through west Apopka. Photo taken 02/25/17.
Exit 267A partitions into ramps for SR 429 south to Interstate 4 west to Lakeland and Tampa in 22 miles. Northward, the toll road continues 12 miles to U.S. 441 (Orange Blossom Trail) near Downtown Apopka. Photo taken 02/25/17.
Exit 267B leaves from within the four-level interchange with the Western Beltway for an access road north to SR 50 (West Colonial Drive) at Ocoee. Maguire Road (CR 439) leads north from SR 50 nearby to the Ocoee city center. Photo taken 09/01/18.
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Passing under the network of flyover ramps associated with the Veterans Memorial Interchange joining the Turnpike with SR 429. Photos taken 09/01/18.
Entering the trumpet interchange (Exit 267B) with the access road north to SR 50 (West Colonial Drive). SR 50 extends across the city of Orlando to Bithlo and Christmas in eastern Orange County, and overall to Titusville. Photo taken 09/01/18.
Auxiliary lanes expand Florida's Turnpike to 12 overall lanes between SR 429 and SR 408. Photo taken 09/01/18.
Florida's Turnpike curves southeast from SR 50 and SR 429 to Exit 265 and SR 408 (East-West Expressway). SR 408 provides a direct route to Downtown Orlando from Minneola, Clermont in Lake County and Oakland, Winter Garden and Ocoee. The toll road was originally built as a bypass for Colonial Drive. It was extended west and east in stages between 1967 and 1990. Photo taken 02/27/16.
SR 408 east begins at a semi-directional T interchange (Exit 265) at Gotha. Connections at the east end with Challenger Parkway and SR 50 lead drivers to the University of Central Florida (UCF) and Titusville. Photo taken 02/27/16.
Mileage sign posted ahead of the split with SR 408 (East West Expressway) highlighting the interchanges with Interstate 4 and U.S. 192 (and U.S. 441) in Kissimmee. Photo taken 09/01/18.
Exit 265 departs Florida's Turnpike south for the eastbound beginning of SR 408. The East-West Expressway travels 22 miles overall, reaching Downtown Orlando in ten miles. Photo taken 09/01/18.
The wye interchange with SR 408 east was expanded to provide full access with Florida's Turnpike from the south in August 2006. Photo taken 02/27/16.
Southbound travelers pass over Hempel Avenue on the one-mile approach to the Turkey Lake Service Plaza. Photo taken 09/01/18.
Turnpike reassurance marker posted at the Gotha Road overpass. Photo taken 02/27/16.
The Turkey Lake Service Plaza lies between the north and south roadways of the Turnpike at milepost 263. Photo taken 09/01/18.
Food, fuel, and tourist information are available at Turkey Lake Service Plaza. Additionally complementary orange and grapefruit juice are served to visitors. The facility lies just west of Turkey Lake and outside the Orlando city limits. Photo taken 09/01/18.
Additionally the Turnpike operations building (FDOT Turnpike District) is located on the north side of the Turkey Lake Service Plaza. Photo taken 02/27/16.
Leaving the service area, motorists see this confirming marker for the Turnpike south ahead of the Hiawassee Road overpass. An interchange was once proposed between the toll road and the north-south arterial here. Photo taken 09/01/18.
Three additional interchanges line the Turnpike within Orange County: Interstate 4 at Exit 259, Consulate Drive and SR 528 / U.S. 17-92-441 at Exits 254/255 and SR 417 at Exit 251. Photo taken 09/01/18.
Florida's Turnpike runs between Turkey Lake (Bill Frederick) and the Conroy Club subdivision Park on the two mile approach to Exit 259 for Interstate 4. Photo taken 09/01/18.
Interstate 4 leads southwest to International Drive, Sea World, Walt Disney World other area attractions. Photo taken 09/01/18.
Conroy Road and SR 435 (Kirkman Road) intersect just east of their respective overpasses above Florida's Turnpike, one mile north of Interstate 4. I-4 enters the forthcoming exchange from Downtown Orlando and the Mall of Millennia area to the northeast. Photo taken 02/27/16.
Universal Orlando lies just west of Exit 259 and adjacent SR 435 (Kirkman Road). A direct ramp joins Interstate 4 west with the theme park. Photo taken 02/27/16.
Interstate 4 constitutes a 132-mile long freeway joining Orlando with Lakeland and Tampa to the west and Daytona Beach and Jacksonville to the north.
This overhead was removed by December 2016. Photo taken 02/27/16.
Southbound at the trumpet interchange (Exit 259) to Interstate 4. A connecting road directs traffic to a second trumpet interchange linking with I-4. Photo taken 09/01/18.

  1. "Toll Plaza at Wildwood Shuts Down." Orlando Sentinel, The (FL), July 7, 1995.
  2. "State Readies Coin Baskets on Turnpike." Orlando Sentinel, The (FL), May 23, 1995.
  3. "Change is in the Cards for Turnpike Drivers." Orlando Sentinel, The (FL), June 21, 1995.
  4. "Turnpike Exchange: Coins, Not Tickets a New Toll Plaza South of Leesburg, When Complete, Will Mean a Pay-as-you-go System on the Highway's Northern Section." Orlando Sentinel, The (FL), February 12, 1993.
  5. "Turnpike converting to coin toll system." Ocala Star-Banner (FL), August 19, 1995.
  6. "Turnpike interchange opening today may spur Minneola growth." Orlando Sentinel, The (FL), June 10, 2017.
  7. "Good news for Orlando commuters from south Lake — turnpike to be widened to eight lanes." Orlando Sentinel, The (FL), May 16, 2018.
  8. "Harried Commuters Bask in Opening of a New Interchange." Orlando Sentinel, The (FL), May 1, 1993.

Photo Credits:

04/28/08, 02/27/16, 02/25/17, 09/01/18, 01/20/20 by AARoads

Connect with:
Interstate 4
U.S. 27
U.S. 301
State Road 50
Spessard Lindsay Holland East-West Expressway
State Road 429 - Western Beltway / Apopka Expwy / Wekiva Pkwy

Page Updated 03-03-2020.