Crews to start I-4 project in downtown Orlando

Leaders fear drivers underestimate traffic headaches


ORLANDO, Fla. – Construction on a project that is designed to transform Interstate 4 through Central Florida will begin at the intersection of Florida State Road 408, according to leaders at the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Officials didn't give an exact date that ground would break on the project, but they said they fear that many Central Florida commuters don't understand what's in store for their commute -- their time on I-4 could be doubled.

Federal transportation officials said they are comparing the traffic congestion that the I-4 Ultimate Project will produce to the "Big Dig" of Boston, which caused constant traffic congestion throughout the city.

Once construction begins at I-4 and Florida State Road 408, crews will begin work along the entire 21-mile stretch of the renovation project, which starts near Universal Studios and ends in Longwood.

Local 6 asked the spokesperson for the project if he thought drivers were underestimating what the construction could do for their commute.

"Without a doubt," said David Parks, spokesman for the I-4 Ultimate Project.

He pointed to what happens when an accident happens right now along I-4. He said drivers stop and it creates a backup miles long. Now, he said, imagine that happening in the midst of a massive highway construction project.

Parks said commuters need to start thinking now about how they plan to get to work, which alternate routes they can take and whether public transportation may be the better alternative. He said the best option is to work from home if at all possible.

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