Here's what's being done to prevent washouts on I-4

Rainy weather causes traffic nightmare

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – The Florida Department of Transportation is requiring contractors for the I-4 Ultimate Project to inspect all low-lying areas of the interstate to see what more can be done to prevent a repeat of recent washouts and flooding.

This comes after Wednesday's emergency repairs when the inclement weather caused an underground drainage pipe to fail, according to FDOT officials. That caused dirt, water and debris to wash into a lane of traffic on I-4 near the Princeton Street exit. 

Drivers told News 6 it's frustrating.

"There’s no excuse, there should have been a fix in place already," driver Debbie Oliver said. "How long have you been doing this? They should have had a fix already for it."

There was a similar scene at the same I-4 exit on June 9, when heavy rain and flooding shut down the highway on both sides. Many cars stalled out and traffic was a nightmare.

"I’ve seen a few people hit people from the back in that type of weather and it’s flooded up real bad," driver Maurice Smith said. 

The I-4 Ultimate Project contractor, SGL Constructions, released a statement Thursday to News 6:

"Recent heavy rains have caused flooding issues on and near I-4, primarily north of downtown Orlando. SGL Constructors has identified that these lower-lying areas are susceptible to water accumulation and we are working on immediate solutions to mitigate flooding in these areas."

FDOT also released a full statement: 

"The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is in contact with the contractor about emergency repairs at I-4 near Princeton Street, related to inclement weather Wednesday night. Weather conditions last night caused an underground drainage pipe to fail. This resulted in water, mud and materials to wash into one travel lane. The contractor then had to dig up a portion of the road to make repairs to the drainage system under the pavement. FDOT is requiring further action. This includes inspection of other areas along the corridor that have the same configuration. While FDOT understands that there are certain unique circumstances that come with temporary lane configurations in a construction corridor, safety is paramount. This is being communicated and emphasized to the contractor."

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