ORLANDO, Fla. – I-4 Mobility Partners, the Orlando-based group responsible for the Interstate 4 construction project will receive an additional $125 million from the Florida Department of Transportation, according to a news release.
The 21-mile project began in 2015 with I-4 Mobility Partners earning $2.3 billion and was slated to be complete in late 2021, however, construction delays, worker accidents and deaths have pushed that time frame. According to FDOT, the completion date is now slated for 2022.
According to FDOT, the state has agreed to pay I-4 Mobility Partners an additional $125 million to settle claims due to “unforeseen impacts and financial compensation."
Five workers have been killed since the project between Kirkman Road and State Road 434 began, and more than 200 have been injured, FDOT records show. The deaths and injuries have resulted in fines from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration against the I-4 contractor.
“The Department’s goal was to provide a solution that would offer the biggest benefit to the greatest number of drivers. Focusing on getting the general use lanes open within the original project timeline does just that,” FDOT Secretary Kevin J. Thibault said in a March 13 statement. “FDOT remains committed to ensuring the project is completed safely and will continue to monitor the concessionaire to ensure accountability until the project is complete."
The details of how Florida will fund the additional $125 million were not available as the agreement between FDOT and I-14 Mobility Partners is still being finalized, according to FDOT.
On Thursday, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao announced the Orlando area will receive $99.3 million in federal funds to help area public transportation prepare for the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s unclear if that money will go toward the I-4 construction project.