ORLANDO, Fla. — Universal Orlando is planning to improve a road as they get ready for their newest theme park, Epic Universe.

What You Need To Know

  • Universal Orlando plans to make improvements to Carrier Drive

  • Universal plans to use Carrier Drive as a path for its shuttle buses between its main campus and Epic Universe

  • Construction is underway on a Kirkman Road extension to Epic Universe

While Universal is already working with Orange County to extend Kirkman Road down to its new theme park, we’ve learned Universal is also teaming up with the City of Orlando to improve Carrier Drive, between Universal Boulevard and Kirkman Road.

Carrier Drive is close to Universal’s Endless Summer Resort.

The theme park plans to use Carrier Drive as a path for its buses to connect to the main campus near I-4, Endless Summer Resort and Epic Universe near the Orange County Convention Center.

“We wanted to get ahead of it so we’re not dealing with impacts after the fact, because we want to be a good neighbor to all,” said John McReynolds with Universal Orlando Resort.

The plan calls for improving traffic flow from Universal Boulevard to Kirkman Road to accommodate current and future development in the area.

A proposed pedestrian/bike pathway on the south side of Carrier Drive is also part of the project.

Intersection upgrades are planned for Carrier Drive at Universal Boulevard and Carrier Drive at Kirkman Road.

Universal also wants to enhance the aesthetics by burying overhead utilities and improving roadway lighting and landscaping.

“The Carrier Drive project is focused toward supporting the development needs of the adjoining properties as well as providing an efficient link for Universal’s shuttle buses connecting its three campuses,” said Dante Gabriel with GMB Engineers and Planners.

A roundabout at Carrier Drive and Lakehurst Drive is also being considered.

Barbara Darcy just started a new doggy day care and boarding facility on Lakehurst Drive. She’s optimistic about the improvements and the increase in traffic.

“Hopefully it will drive more dog people visiting with their dogs (to this area),” Darcy said.

Construction is well underway on both Epic Universe and the road that will connect to the new park on Kirkman Road.

“As part of the Epic Universe project, construction work has already started on extending Kirkman Road from Sand Lake Road going south toward Universal Boulevard, including replacing the existing Kirkman and Sand Lake interchange,” said Gabriel.

Engineers hope the Kirkman Road extension will accommodate the traffic expected for Epic Universe.

“The Kirkman Road extension will also feature exclusive transit lanes that will significantly increase the multi-modal and person trip capacity of Kirkman Road,” Gabriel said.

Construction on Carrier Drive is expected to happen in the second quarter of 2023. The Kirkman Road extension project will be completed in the first quarter of 2024.

Epic Universe is scheduled to open by the summer of 2025.