Permanent lane shift brings major changes to I-4 in downtown Orlando

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A major traffic shift in downtown Orlando is sure to have a big impact on your commute.

After a weekend of construction, the change took effect on Monday morning. The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) said that there is now a permanent lane shift on the eastbound lanes. It begins at the South Street exit and continues up to Lee Road.

This permanent shift is a major step forward for the I-4 Ultimate Project. Jessica Ottaviano, who works with FDOT, told Fox 35 that "most people have been seeing us build these elevated roadways in downtown and now we will be shifting traffic to that area. So, this is a huge milestone for the project."

Along with the shift, the temporary eastbound I-4 ramps between Colonial Drive and Lee Road will be eliminated, bringing back the traditional ramps. The eastbound exit to Amelia Street is re-opening and the eastbound exit to Colonial Drive will no longer have drivers make u-turns onto southbound Hughey Avenue. 

With this traffic shift, there is also eight full miles of new road in the eastbound lanes. However, even with this, there is still plenty of work left to do. The next step will be to shift the westbound traffic over to the eastbound side later this summer.