Stretching 317 miles through Florida, U.S. 17 generally travels along the spine and heartland of the Florida peninsula. The route connects the southwest coast with both the central and northeast portions of the state. Though a bit slower travel time than both Interstates 75 and 4, U.S. 17 provides a more direct link between the Fort Myers-Cape Coral-Punta Gorda and greater Orlando metro areas. Portions of the U.S. highway have been improved from Punta Gorda to Winter Haven providing faster and safer travel. Through Kissimmee, Orlando and its neighboring cities, U.S. 17 follows U.S. 92 along a heavily congested commercialized corridor. The two split at DeLand with U.S. 17 returning to a rural setting en route to Palatka and Jacksonville. The U.S. highway parallels close to I-4 between Orlando and De Land and I-95 between Jacksonville and the Georgia state line.

U.S. 17 Highway Guides

U.S. 17 begins at U.S. 41 in Downtown Punta Gorda and heads northerly toward Arcadia while paralleling the Peace River. Road projects spanning between 2003 through to 2015 widened U.S. 17 into a four-lane rural highway between Charlotte County 74 and DeSoto County 760A in Nocatee.1 A final project completed in January 2018 widened U.S. 17 from CR 760A to Heard Street in Arcadia1, connecting with the existing one-way pairs through the DeSoto county seat.

North of Arcadia, U.S. 17 continues as a four lane rural corridor to the Hardee County line. The community of Brownsville was bypassed when the route was placed on new alignment by 2006, generally following an old rail line that paralleled U.S. 17 between Arcadia and points north. Two separate projects further extended the widening of U.S. 17 from the Hardee County line to Zolfo Springs. Widening from the Hardee County to Sweetwater Road ran from September 2016 to summer 2018. Construction expanding the highway from south of West 9th Street to north of West 3rd Street in Zolfo Springs was finished in March 2018.

U.S. 17 leaves Zolfo Springs for the towns of Wauchula and Bowling Green before entering Polk County. U.S. 98 joins U.S. 17 in Downtown Fort Meade for an 11-mile overlap through East Van Fleet Drive in Bartow. U.S. 98 briefly connects with Florida 60 before spoking northwest to Lakeland. U.S. 17 turns northeast from the Polk County seat making a bee line for Winter Haven. The route formerly followed one-way pairs through and near its central business district but today travels wholly along both 3rd and 6th Streets within the city. Lake Alfred Road carries U.S. 17 northward from Winter Haven to rendezvous with U.S. 92 south of Lake Alfred.

U.S. 17 and 92 overlap

U.S. 17 joins U.S. 92 for a 99-mile concurrency through the heart of central Florida and the greater Orlando metro area. The two highways merge just south of Lake Alfred and turn easterly to meet U.S. 27 west of Haines City. The pair then turn north traveling through Davenport, Loughman, and Intercession City before entering Kissimmee within Osceola County.

US 17-92 / Pleasant Hill Road flyover

Separate projects widen U.S. 17-92 along John Young Parkway in Osceola County. The first project expands a 1.37-mile segment from Portage Street north to U.S. 192 (Vine Street) in Kissimmee. Work commenced on November 15, 2015 and was estimated for completion on January 25, 2018. Poor weather conditions and clean up following Hurricane Irma in September 2017 were cited as delays, pushing the completion date back to late May 2018.2

Subsequent construction expands 2.384 miles of U.S. 17-92 (John Young Parkway) south from Portage Street in Kissimmee to Pleasant Hill Road (CR 531). Included is a new flyover linking John Young Parkway south to Pleasant Hill Road south and CR 531 north to U.S. 17-92 north. Right of way costs are estimated at $25 million, with construction adding another $66.7 million. The project started in December 2017 and runs through spring 2020.2,3

U.S. 17 and 92 both join U.S. 192 for a brief overlap before returning north, following U.S. 441 (Main Street) out of Kissimmee. Beyond the city limits, Main Street becomes Orange Blossom Trail (OBT), a heavily congested six-lane arterial that carries the three U.S. highways through several Orange County suburbs, including Hunters Creek and Southchase. The trio meet both the Florida's Turnpike and Beachline Expressway (Florida 528) near Florida 482 (Sand Lake Road) and the Florida Mall. U.S. 17-92-441 continues northward along a commercial corridor into Orlando, splitting with U.S. 441 at State Road 50 (Colonial Drive). Colonial Drive takes U.S. 17 & 92 along with SR 50 east under Interstate 4 before the two U.S. highways depart north along Mills Avenue.

U.S. 17 & 92 continue north away from central Orlando as a busy commercial arterial, passing through Winter Park, Maitland, Fern Park and Casselberry. Two grade-separated interchanges join the pair with SR 414 west (Maitland Boulevard) and SR 436 (Semoran Boulevard) en route to Longwood. As U.S. 17-92 bends northeast toward Sanford, the four-lane route passes between Big Tree Park and Soldiers Creek Park, giving motorists a brief reprieve from the otherwise over-burdened commercialized arterial. The two highways skirts the southeast quadrant of Lake Mary before entering Sanford along Orlando Drive. State Road 46 (25th Street) enters Sanford from the east and overlaps U.S. 17 & 92 for 1.7 miles before following 1st Street west toward I-4 and Mount Dora. U.S. 17-92 otherwise meets Seminole Boulevard a few blocks north at the base of Lake Monroe, following adjacent to the lake through to a crossing over the St. Johns River.

A $22.3 million project redesigned the interchange joining Interstate 4 with U.S. 17 & 92 and County Road 15 (Monroe Road) at Lake Monroe. A new flyover ramp connects I-4 eastbound with U.S. 17 & 92 directly at the intersection with Monroe Road. The previous exit tied into Orange Boulevard west of CR 15 and south of a CSX Railroad line and U.S. 17 & 92. Work finished four months ahead of schedule on December 19, 2007.4

The remaining 15 miles of the U.S. 17-92 concurrency see the two routes travel parallel to Interstate 4 through DeBary, Orange City and DeLand. Drivers typically see a mix of residential and commercial areas along the entire stretch into DeLand. Woodland Boulevard carries U.S. 17 & 92 through to the heart of DeLand where the two U.S. highways meet State Road 44. U.S. 92 finally leaves U.S. 17 along International Speedway Boulevard in North DeLand for Daytona Beach. The U.S. highway continues another 22 miles ending at Florida A1A one block west of the Atlantic Ocean.

Leaving U.S. 92 and De Land behind, U.S. 17 turns northwest toward De Leon Springs and Barberville, reducing back to a two-lane rural highway. The highway generally parallels the St. Johns River as it continues northward through the communities of Pierson, Crescent City and Lake Como en route to Palatka and beyond. At Satsuma, U.S. 17 bends northeast in unison with the St. Johns River to meet Florida 100 at San Mateo. State Road 100 joins U.S. 17 for an overlap through East Palatka into Palatka across the St. Johns River. U.S. 17 (Reid Street) splits with SR 100 west of downtown for Green Cove Springs and Orange Park, a suburb of Jacksonville. The U.S. highway maintains a rural setting between Palatka and Green Cove Springs, but is more urbanized northward toward Orange Park.

Still closely running parallel with the St. Johns River, U.S. 17 enters Duval County (Jacksonville) immediately preceding an interchange with I-295, just south of Naval Air Station (NAS) Jacksonville. The naval complex stretches nearly three miles along U.S. 17 (Roosevelt Boulevard), lying between the arterial and the St. Johns River. Roosevelt Boulevard otherwise carries U.S. 17 northward through the Ortega, Lakeshore South and Fairfax neighborhoods of Jacksonville. Between the Murray Hill and Avondale neighborhoods, the Roosevelt Expressway continues U.S. 17 as a limited-access expressway through to Interstate 10 east.

Roosevelt Expressway

Approved by AASHTO in 2006, U.S. 17 was relocated from a surface street routing through the Riverside and Brooklyn neighborhoods in Jacksonville onto a combination of Roosevelt Expressway, Interstate 10, I-95, and U.S. 23 (State / Union Streets). The move was requested by city officials, as the former couplet of College and Post Streets through Riverside was converted to local streets with two way traffic. The realignment also effected Florida 228, which ran in tandem with U.S. 17 through to Downtown. It now follows U.S. 17 wholly to U.S. 1 & 90 (Main / Ocean Streets), which returns the route south to Monroe and Adams Street east to the Hart Bridge Expressway. U.S. 17 and SR 228 remain poorly signed along their overlaps with Interstates 10 and 95.

North of Downtown, U.S. 17 follows Main Street through the Brentwood and Panama Park neighborhoods before crossing the Trout River near the Jacksonville Zoo. U.S. 17 remains a mostly rural route between I-295 and Yulee, where the U.S. highway meets Florida A1A and 200. Turning northwest, the route meets I-95 at a folded diamond interchange before curving back north to cross the St. Marys River into Georgia.


U.S. 17 scenes
This classic shield assembly for U.S. 17 & 92 (Lake Shore Way) once stood along Haines Boulevard (former CR 557) in Downtown Lake Alfred; it was removed by May 2007. CR 557 was relocated from Haines Boulevard by 2011 and placed onto a realigned Buena Vista Drive. Photo taken 11/18/03.
Airport Boulevard eastbound in Sanford on the approach to U.S. 17 & 92. Airport Boulevard parallels Florida 417 (Seminole Expressway) southeast from CR 46A (West 25th Street) to U.S. 17 & 92 at Exit 50. Photo taken 12/29/05.
Airport Boulevard carries drivers from the Florida 417 southbound off-ramp (Exit 50) to U.S. 17 & 92. U.S. 17 & 92 travel north from Airport Boulevard to Downtown Sanford and southwest to Lake Mary. Airport Boulevard east continues to the southbound on-ramp to the Seminole Expressway and Orlando-Sanford International Airport (SFB). Photo taken 12/29/05.
Lake Monroe Bridge
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3 photos
3 photos
A portion of the original two-lane Lake Monroe Bridge remains in place at Lake Monroe Wayside Park adjacent to the U.S. 17-92 Benedict Bridge. A plaque in place at the bridge indicates that the Lake Monroe Bridge was the first electrically operated swing bridge in the state when it was built between 1932-33. It replaced a wooden toll bridge and traveled 627 feet across the St. Johns River. When the 1994 bridge above was constructed, the Lake Monroe Bridge was removed from the navigation channel but left in place as a fishing pier on the south side. Photos taken 06/29/08.
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2 photos
Looking underneath the four-lane Benedict Bridge of U.S. 17-92 from the original Lake Monroe Bridge. A CSX Railroad swing bridge remains in use along the west side of the fixed high-level span. Photos taken 06/29/08.
View looking east from the 1933 bridge toward the modern Interstate 4 high rise spans over Lake Monroe. The dual spans of the St. Johns River Veterans Memorial Bridge were finished by May 2004 replacing a 1960-built single span. Photo taken 06/29/08.
Another view of the St. Johns River Veterans Memorial Bridges as they rise from Exit 104 (U.S. 17-92) across the St. Johns River and Lake Monroe. A loop ramp from I-4 east to U.S. 17 & 92 partially protrudes over the lake. This ramp was built by 2007 as part of overall improvements to the nearby interchange. Photo taken 06/29/08.

Sources:

  1. US 17 Corridor Projects (FDOT), www.fdotus17projects.com.
  2. "John Young Parkway widening projected to finish late May 2018." Osceola News-Gazette (Kissimmee, FL), December 22, 2017.
  3. 418403-3 SR 600 (US 17/92) from Pleasant Hill Road to Portage Street. CFLRoads, FDOT web site.
  4. "New I-4 exit ramp opens today." Orlando Sentinel, The (FL), December 19, 2007.


Photo Credits:

11/18/03, 12/29/05, 06/29/08 by AARoads

Connect with:
Interstate 4
Interstate 10
Interstate 75
Interstate 95
Interstate 295 - East and West Beltway
U.S. 1
U.S. 23
U.S. 27
U.S. 90
U.S. 92
U.S. 98
U.S. 441
Florida 15 / County Road 15
Florida 44
Florida 50
Florida 414 - Apopka Expressway / Maitland Boulevard
Florida 417 - Central Florida GreeneWay / Seminole Expressway
Florida 436 - Semoran Boulevard
Florida 538 - Poinciana Parkway

Page Updated 10-26-2018.