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Beltway blues


A key transportation official says the southern leg of the planned Western Beltway would be "in the middle of nowhere" and benefit development interests more than commuters. Bill Beckett, vice chairman of the expressway authority, says that given traffic congestion throughout Central Florida, money could be better spent improving existing highways.

The beltway would open to development a vast stretch of west Orange County and create new bedroom communities to support Disney. Horizon West, a developers' consortium, has a 60,000-person city on the drawing board. Disney has donated $7.5 million and 140 acres to the $380 million project, an amount that Disney spokesman Bill Warren deemed "fair."