I-4 Express lanes might get confusing, a new interactive planner can help

Toll lanes open Saturday morning - use FDOT’s “Trip Planner”

ORLANDO, Fla. – All entrances and exits to the I-4 Express tolling lanes are now marked.

The signs overhead are clear showing where the lanes line up in the middle of the highway, and how much they’ll cost: 50 cents a section, initially.

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And covered signs that will be uncovered Saturday morning will show I-4 Express drivers what their options are for getting out of the toll lanes.

But if you don’t know where you have to get off the Express lanes, you may miss your exit to get off I-4.

The Express lane on and off-ramps do not align with the I-4 on and off-ramps.

So how do you know where to get on and off?

The Florida Dept. of Transportation created a standalone website just for the tolling lanes: www.I4express.com.

A video shows you exactly where you can get on and where you can get off. And you can use the interactive trip planner to make sure you’re getting off in time to make your exit.

I-4 Express route (FDOT)

Using the trip planner to plan an Express lane route eastbound from State Road 408 to Altamonte Springs S.R. 436 reveals the intricacies of the tolling lanes and the need to pre-plan.

According to the planner, there is no eastbound entrance to the tolling lanes anywhere near the 408, so the trip planner warns if you’re coming from the 408 you’ll have to wait until you get to Maitland to hop onto the tolling lanes.

I-4 Express route (FDOT)

To get off at S.R. 436 in Altamonte, the trip planner shows you’ll drive past the S.R. 436 exit on I-4, take the direct-connect Express lanes exit onto Central Parkway, and then you’ll have to double-back on local roads to get to S.R. 436.

I-4 Express route (FDOT)

FDOT built several direct-connect access and exit points into the tolling lanes so, in certain spots, you can get on and off the toll lanes without ever having to get on or off the I-4 general lanes.

Are those direct-connect ramps convenient for you and your commute? Check the website and the trip planner to find out.

About the Author:

Erik von Ancken anchors and reports for WKMG-TV News 6 (CBS) in Orlando and is a two-time Emmy award-winning journalist in the prestigious and coveted "On-Camera Talent" categories for both anchoring and reporting. Erik joined the News 6 News Team in 2003 days after the tragic loss of space shuttle Columbia.