Congress demands answers in I-4 Ultimate delays

Three Central Florida congressional members are pressuring the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) to answer for delays in the I-4 Ultimate project.

Democratic Representatives Darren Soto, Stephanie Murphy, and Val Demings sent a letter to FDOT Secretary Kevin Thibault requesting a status update on the project as soon as possible.

The request comes on the heels of progress report from construction crews on the project last week which stated the work, slated to end in early 2021, may now need another nine months and millions of additional dollars to complete. The report cited delays from the hurricane, a cracked bridge death, and a weeklong stoppage from a worker death as reasons for the requests.

Representative Soto said Monday that those resources or other solutions may be possible, but that Central Floridians need to see transparency in order to even consider that.

"With over $2 billion in tax dollars being utilized in this project the public has a right to know about these issues,” said Soto, D-Kissimmee. "If there is cost overruns we need to know why. And for delays we really need to know what's causing those delays."

Soto also said drivers deserve more transparency on the safety record of the project including that worker death earlier this year.

An FDOT spokesman said Monday that they are reviewing the congressional delegation’s letter, and last week said that SGL had not been granted any money outside of the current contract terms.

A spokesman for SGL had not responded for comment as of publication.