I-4 preps underway as Hurricane Dorian inches closer

Crews shift from production to storm prep mode

MAITLAND, Fla. – As Hurricane Dorian moves toward potential landfall near Central Florida, the I-4 Ultimate team is monitoring and preparing for potential impacts. 

The Florida Department of Transportation told News 6 teams have already begun emergency preparation plans. 

[RELATED: I-4 floods again in construction zone, drain blocked againRain causes flooding on I-4 entrance ramps]

"A typical afternoon storm can deliver us 2-4 inches of rain in a very short amount of time," said David Parks, with the I-4 Ultimate project. "Now, we're looking at a lot more rain over a longer period of time. So as long as it's safe to have crews out there, we'll have crews out there to make sure the drainage inlets are clear. Then, once the winds die down, we'll get crews out there as fast as we can." 

Parks explained how crews are removing unnecessary traffic barrels, barricades, temporary signage and any other items that might be affected by strong winds. 

Workers may also lower crane booms along the corridor and secure other equipment and materials as necessary, he said.  

Over the last month, several stretches of roadway under construction have flooded, leaving traffic at a standstill. 

"If it puddles up with just a heavy thunderstorm, imagine what it's going to do with this monsoon coming and hanging over us for three or four days," said Mike Skelly, who routinely avoids driving on I-4 while he drives around Central Florida with Majestic Environmental Services. 

As News 6 previously reported, the contractor behind the multibillion-dollar project could face penalties from the state because of repeated flooding. 

Parks said crews are making an extra effort looking at drainage throughout their construction zone. 

[MORE: Weather continues to impact Interstate 4 construction]

"Crews have already been out there to take a look at the drainage that we have in place," he said. "Making sure those drain inlets are clear, that there's nothing in the underground pipes, already pumping down some of those retention ponds so we have additional capacity to handle the extra rain we expect to get." 

For more information about the I-4 Ultimate project, click here. 

About the Author: