Studies for the Western Beltway date back to 1974. By the early 1980s, plans were taking shape for a 55-mile limited access road connecting to I-4 in both Seminole County and Osceola County. However, eventually the portion from US 441 in Apopka north and east into Seminole County – designated as Part B – was deemed to have an adverse environmental impact on the Wekiva River Aquatic Preserve and was eliminated.
Developing plans for the remaining portions of the corridor involved the efforts of the Western Beltway Policy Committee and Task Force, which included then-OOCEA Chairman Wayne Rich as well as leaders from the Florida Department of Transportation, the Turnpike Office, Orange and Osceola counties, the cities of Apopka, Ocoee and Winter Garden and the Reedy Creek Improvement District. There were extensive public involvement activities conducted including public meetings in 1995 and 1996 each attended by more than 400 people.
The Western Beltway was the first project for which the Expressway Authority engaged in advance right-of-way acquisition. The new approach allowed the agency to avoid the continued escalation of land values during planning and design and negotiating for land with construction deadlines looming. The strategy helped the OOCEA in many cases acquire land at pre-development prices and by negotiation rather than the more expensive – and time-consuming -- litigation.
The Expressway Authority built and opened the first 10.6-mile stretch of SR 429 between US 441 and SR 50 in July 2000. The 4.5-mile connection between SR 50 and County Road 535 – including the Turnpike interchange -- opened in December 2002. The Expressway Authority completed the 8.5-mile segment from south of CR 535 to Seidel Road in December 2005.
The Florida's Turnpike Enterprise completed the 11-mile portion from Seidel Road south across US 192 to I-4 in Osceola County in December 2006.
The Expressway Authority has made it a priority to extend SR 429 in order to finish the beltway around metropolitan Orlando. The OOCEA and the FDOT have been jointly conducting a Project Development and Environment Study for the Wekiva Parkway™. That project would extend SR 429 from US Highway 441 in Apopka for 25 miles through Orange, Lake and Seminole counties with a connection to Interstate 4 at SR 417 (Central Florida GreeneWay).