New I-4 Express lanes set to open soon. How much will they cost drivers?

State leaders broke ground on the I-4 Ultimate Project 7 years ago

ORLANDO, Fla. – As the I-4 Ultimate Project reaches a major milestone, a key feature of the construction project is set to open soon.

Seven years ago, state leaders broke ground on the I-4 Ultimate Project. Over the years, crews have worked to improve the 21-mile stretch of Interstate 4 from Kirkman Road to State Road 434.

The pinnacle of the $2.3 billion project could open soon.

Jack Adkins, the director of development for the Florida Department of Transportation District 5, provided an update on I-4 Express during last week’s MetroPlan Orlando board meeting.

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“To date construction on the express lanes is largely complete, with just minor elements and punch list items being wrapped up,” Adkins said.

Adkins said if there aren’t any issues, the express lanes could open by the end of the month.

FDOT said it’s wrapping up emergency response training along the lanes, including mock exercise scenarios.

While we’re waiting for official word from FDOT on when the lanes will open, News 6 is getting a better understanding of how much the toll lanes will cost you.

Back in 2015 when the project first started, project managers said the fee schedule wasn’t yet determined but could be as much as $14 during peak drive time.

However, FDOT officials said at the time that was just a projection and they currently don’t know how much the tolls will cost.

Once the lanes open, FDOT said they will offer introductory toll rates at $0.50 per section. FDOT said traveling the entire length of I-4 Express from Kirkman to 434 will cost $3.50 heading eastbound and $3.00 westbound.

FDOT said it plans to collect traffic data during the introductory phase and use the information to set the variable tolls, which will change depending on how many cars are using the express lanes. FDOT said the more cars, the more it will cost.

FDOT officials aren’t saying how long the introductory rates will last, but they are warning drivers the new toll lanes will take getting used to. They’re encouraging drivers to plan their trips on the I-4 Express website.

About the Author:

Amanda Castro, a proud UCF alum, joined the News 6 team in November 2015 and was promoted to weekend morning anchor in April 2016. Go Knights!