Heavy rain wreaks havoc on I-4 in Orlando

Florida transportation officials seek solution to Princeton Street exit issue

By Mark Lehman - Reporter

ORLANDO, Fla. - For the second time in a matter of days, flooding caused problems for drivers on Interstate 4 near the Princeton Street exit.

Traffic was brought to a crawl Sunday night after heavy rain flooded out at least two lanes of eastbound I-4. The delays happened in the same area that saw that saw flooding problems last week.

Last Thursday, workers shut down lanes on I-4 for about 30 minutes after water began to pond during the late afternoon.

Following the problem, the Florida Department of Transportation said the state would require a plan of action from the contractor to address the situation.

On Sunday, FDOT updated the timetable when drivers could see a solution to the issue.

"Contractor crews are on the corridor checking, cleaning and responding to trouble spots," Communications Manager Steve Olson said.  "FDOT expects a comprehensive work plan this week from the contractor that puts in place increased measures to prevent flooding."

The state agency did not specify what actions would be taken to solve the problem.

Officials from SGL Constructors said they are taking steps to prevent future flooding.

"Recent heavy rains have caused flooding issues on 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. 

"This includes expediting planned traffic shifts to move eastbound vehicles to the newly-elevated permanent roadway, and to move westbound traffic into a new configuration that will avoid these flood-prone areas. In addition, there are crews stationed 24/7 to promptly address water accumulation throughout the corridor, and water pumping capacity has been increased. 

"Public safety is our highest priority, and we are working closely with FDOT to identify longer-term measures to prevent flooding during construction moving forward," SGL officials said.

Rain is forecast to move through the area for the remainder of the week.

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