New changes on I-4 mark big step for Big Drive

Construction to continue throughout next 4 years

By Amy Biondello - Traffic Anchor

ORLANDO, Fla. - Drivers saw more changes go into effect on I-4 Friday morning with a lane shift through the heart of the downtown corridor.

Thursday night into early Friday morning marked a big step for the Big Drive. A key lane shift right through downtown went into effect early Friday. Drivers may notice the following changes next time they travel I-4 westbound.
 
"We'll be transitioning traffic to the inside by about 11 feet from Colonial Drive to Anderson Street. This will be about a mile shift, so drivers will actually experience moving over to the inside closer to the eastbound lanes," Florida Department of Transportation Public Information Officer Jessica Ottaviano said.
 
News 6 traffic anchor Amy Biondello said the change was a relatively easy adjustment along a straight stretch of the highway, but it marks exciting progress for the project.

"We shift traffic so that we can start working on what drivers are currently on today, so by shifting traffic we're now able to work on the outside lanes; to now work on elevating the outside lanes because I-4 on the downtown area will be elevated quite a bit so that we can have the park and recreational space in downtown Orlando," Ottaviano said.
 
This is not the permanent configuration, but it will be in place for a while.
 
"This is going to be in place for about two years, so it's going to be longterm here in this area while we make more improvements in the downtown area," Ottaviano said.

While the latest shift went into effect with little issue, drivers should remember that construction is going to be a constant for the next four years.
 
"Just pay attention and watch for workers out there. We have men and women out there on foot,” SGL Constructors Project Maintenance of Traffic Manager David Feise said. “You can imagine having a car go by you at 70 miles per hour in your office, and this is these folks' office, so slow down, use extra care and pay attention."

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