Changes to new Orlando I-4 ramp at Colonial after drivers make dangerous, illegal turns

ORLANDO, Fla. – Less than two days after a new Interstate 4 off-ramp opened in downtown Orlando, transportation officials are now limiting the options for drivers who take the exit.

The change comes after a number of drivers were ignoring posted signs and making illegal right turns on Colonial Drive.

On Wednesday, the eastbound Amelia Street exit was closed and a temporary off-ramp was added at Colonial Drive.  According to the Florida Department of Transportation, the change was necessary for lane expansion associated with the I-4 Ultimate project.

Drivers taking the exit had the option of either making a "Texas U-Turn" back toward Amelia or turning left onto Colonial.  

However, once the ramp opened, drivers were seen using the left turn lane to make a dangerous right turn onto Colonial and through oncoming traffic on Garland Avenue.

"People don't realize until it actually gets into motion, what's in the drivers heads (and) what they're going to do," nearby business owner Stuart Kimball said.

Construction barrels were put in place on Thursday blocking the left turn onto Colonial, which means drivers can only turn southbound onto Hughey Avenue under I-4, which can be taken back to Amelia.

"It's confusing and I think personally, a lot of people don't want to come downtown," Kimball said.  "It's just something we're going to have to go through for the remainder of the time."

FDOT officials said they are assessing options and additional changes may be implemented.

The new off-ramp is scheduled to be in place for 18 months while construction continues.

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