OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. – Construction has started to relieve traffic at the troubled intersection of Interstate 4 and Champions Gate Boulevard.
This interchange has been deemed a ‘critical’ area FDOT prioritized.
“This is a critical area because we have seen so much growth here,” FDOT spokesperson Allison Kolburn said. “So this area is really being prioritized. We have had a lot of concerns from residents in Central Florida about helping with the traffic flow in the area.”
Cindy Pietrzykowski recently moved into Champions Gate months ago and had no idea about the traffic in the area until she moved.
“It’s always congested. It’s all the time,” she said. “There are so many more houses going in and apartment complexes, so it’s more and more people,” she said.
Crews started construction to bring what is called a Diverging Diamond Interchange.
“One of the benefits of a Diverging Diamond Intersection is it actually reduces the amount of time you spend sitting at a light there because you are taking out that left-hand turn. It means you are getting to where you want to go faster and get people off of the highway faster.”
The video below from FDOT shows how the Diverging Diamond Interchange will look like:
Kolburn adds there will also be axillary lanes and resurfacing added on I-4 which will add capacity on the interstate as well.
The construction will also help relieve traffic beyond the I-4 Ultimate project from State Road 535/Lake Buena Vista down to the Highway 27 exit in Haines City.
However, that project is not yet funded.
U.S. Congressman Darren Soto, who represents that area in the 9th Congressional District said he’s fighting to get funding through President Joe Biden’s infrastructure bill.
“Florida’s 9th Congressional District was the fastest growing district in the nation, grew 40% in Poinciana,” Representative Darren Soto said. “It will take $5.3 billion which is why the Build Back Better Plan is so critical because without it, who knows when we will get that money.”
Now that construction has begun at the Champions Gate exit, officials say it could take a year to a year and a half to complete. You can see all the details on the project, including renderings here.