ORLANDO, Fla. - There's some great news for Interstate 4 drivers with the announcement that construction on primary lanes of the highway will be completed and open by the end of this year, according to the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT).
“Oh, wow, that’s wonderful, would be tremendous!” said Christine Sheilds, driver, “it’s a long time coming.”
“Thank God, because, man, it’s been taking a long time,” said James Crim, driver.
FDOT said the toll lanes will be open by the end of 2021 but that doesn’t mean work on I-4 is done. Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said rapid growth in the area will require more expansion.
“The segments that are north of that and south of that are the ones that are going to need to be expanded,” said Dyer.
The mayor is talking about I-4 east through Seminole and Volusia counties and west through the attractions, to Polk County.
“Doing something similar to what we’ve done with I-4 ultimate, going to the four general-use lanes and two variable toll lanes in the center,” said Dyer.
“I think it’s necessary because I heard, what is it, 500 people are moving into Central Florida, like by the week,” said Shields.
Actually, pre-COVID, 1,500 people we’re moving to the area weekly, according to a report by the Orlando Economic Partnership. That means, as long as population is growing, we should just get used to orange cones on I-4.
“We just have to deal with the inconveniences, while we’re going through those growing pains,” said Shields.
FDOT says the future widening of I-4 is a concept right now, in its preliminary stages.