FDOT to repair Fairbanks curve on I-4 again

Engineers want to spend $600,000 to repair turn

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A tractor-trailer jackknifes on Interstate 4 near Fairbanks Avenue.

ORLANDO, Fla. - Dozens of serious accidents have occurred the last few months on the Fairbanks curve on the Interstate 4, even after Florida Department of Transportation officials tried to fix it.

FDOT spent $200,000 in March in an attempt to fix the curvy, bumpy, narrow stretch of road in Winter Park. With so many recent accidents at the turn, engineers now want to spend an additional $600,000 to try to fix it again.

"I guess you could say we could have walked away from this and said we've done all that we could do, slow down," said Steve Olson of FDOT. "But engineers being engineers, we want to fix it and see if we can do something better."

It is expected that crews will lay asphalt over the smooth concrete, paint new lane lines and put a bigger warning sign at the turn. Adding rumble strips in order to try to slow down drivers is not part of the plan, however, because Olson said rumble strips could cause more crashes.

"We may be able to get creative on our striping, but as far as rumble strips, probably not something you want to put on an interstate," said Olson.

Olson said FDOT wants to be cautious with taxpayer dollars because the agency will begin a $2 billion rebuild project of the I-4 in two years in which they will rebuild, level and straighten the road.

Roadmaster tractor-trailer driving instructor Isaac Ramirez said the Fairbanks curve is known not just around Central Florida, but nationwide within the trucking community. "10 being the worst road I've ever been on, I'd give it an 8 and a half," said Ramirez.

Driver Jeff Wahl suggested FDOT consider a more extreme short-term solution, one that will force drivers to slow down before the curve, like adding rumble strips. "Considering how long this has been going on, something has to be done," said Wahl.

Tune in to Local 6 at 6 p.m. for more on this story.

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