ORLANDO, Fla. - A major lane shift and change to the Interstate 4 eastbound ramp to get onto State Road 408 went into effect at 5 a.m. Friday.
According to I-4 Ultimate officials, the new configuration will be temporary. The exit's location itself will stay the same; however, instead of traveling over an I-4 bridge to reach S.R. 408, drivers will travel parallel to Division Avenue and then travel along Gore Street to get there.
The move will also get rid of the complicated switch over that causes drivers to slow down as they determine whether they need to go east toward Titusville or west toward Ocoee on S.R. 408.
"We have about 25,000 drivers a day that use that combined ramp," said David Parks, spokesperson for the I-4 Ultimate Project. "So a lot of folks will be impacted by this shift beginning Friday morning."
This configuration is Phase 2 of a two-step process, according to I-4 Ultimate crews. Phase 1 took place in April, with crews shutting down the South Street exit off I-4 all together, and merging it with the S.R. 408 exit.
That is where the most important change comes in for drivers, according to I-4 officials, because the exits for South Street and S.R. 408 will flip.
"The most important change for motorists as a result of this new temporary ramp configuration is once motorists have exited I-4, they need to be in the left lane of the ramp for South Street and the right lane of the ramp for S.R. 408," according to the I-4 Ultimate's website.
"If you miss it and you end up in the wrong lane then, and you are headed onto South Street toward downtown, don't stop on the ramp," Parks added.
The temporary configuration is expected to stay that way for 17 months, until crews complete a separate flyover for the troubled interchange.
"The No. 1 thing is, you really pay attention to the signs, be prepared for this traffic shift," Parks said.
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