ORLANDO, Fla. - As construction takes place on the I-4 Ultimate project during the coronavirus pandemic, some work is being accelerated while other parts are delayed.
If you’re out and about driving, you're going to see more lane closures as I-4 Ultimate construction continues during the stay at home order.
Driver Teresa Collard told FOX 35 News that "it would be so great if they could ramp that up. So, I’m game for it."
Another driver, Stephanie Beers, said "I think it’s good they’re using this downtime and keeping people working that can work so I applaud that."
The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) said that projects like the 40 interchange, the 434 in Longwood, and parts of I-4 westbound in Downtown will be finished this summer -- two months earlier than expected after Governor DeSantis directed them to speed up the process.
Drive Teresa added that "if they take this time when we’re hunkered down to just speed up the process, then I think it will be a lot smoother for those of us that have to travel."
However, FDOT acknowledges that there will also be delays after coming to a $125 million dollar settlement agreement with I-4 Mobility Partners, the company in charge of construction. The express lanes located in the center of the highway will not be finished till the end of 2021 or early 2022, a year later than expected.
Hany Elbanna of HSE Contractors told FOX 35 News that "it is expected of a project of this magnitude to have delays because there’s a lot of moving pieces."
Even with unexpected delays and expenses due to hurricanes, cracks in the Colonial Bridge, and drill shaft failures, ElBanna said that getting part of the project done ahead of time is still a win for the public, stating that "obviously the public would like to have this done sooner but it’s still considered faster than normal."
FDOT confirmed that there will be no additional costs to accelerate the work.
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