Alafaya Trail construction delayed until June 2014, officials say



ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - Thousands of Orange County drivers will be dealing with a road-widening project for much longer than they thought.

The dirt started turning on Alafaya Trail from Avalon Park Boulevard to Mark Twain Boulevard two years ago.

In November, the project was delayed because of changes to the design. Rain and a new traffic signal by a fire station added more time and cost to the project.

The project could be delayed until June 2014 because crews have had a hard time moving water, sewer and electric utilities lines.

While Alafaya Trail widened to four lanes, new development and growth are happened at the same time, outpacing what the current road can handle.

Resident Bridget Gibb has never known the road any other way when she moved to Orlando from Germany last year.

"We saw it and thought this is one of those things that'll be finished by the time we arrive," Gibb said.

Traffic data on the state's transportation website show it's like squeezing all the traffic on Colonial Drive into just two lanes.

Driver Andres Baez said it takes him an hour to get to work if he comes through Alafaya Trail.

"If I come through here, forget it," Baez said.

Baez said he goes out of his way to pay a toll to avoid the daily delays.

"I save a little time, but I pay for it too, because I burn more gas," Baez said.

Orange County officials said all four lanes will be open to drivers by April 2014.

The contractor could face a $8,500 fine per day for being behind schedule.

The county said it won't know for sure until the entire project is complete.