Orange Avenue reconstruction could cause traffic mess in downtown Orlando

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ORLANDO, Fla. - Road crews are about to close a major route that many drivers use to get on State Road 408 in downtown Orlando.

At 4 a.m. Saturday, Orange Avenue, between South and Anderson streets in front of City Hall, will close for nearly a month.

City officials will use their Event Management Center to monitor 40 intersections and traffic in the area during the closure.

PDF: Orange Avenue reconstruction road closures

"From here, we can monitor and make changes to our signal  timing that we've already modified, make changes here and  clear areas," said Orlando Traffic Operations engineer Frank Consoli.  

The center will be a big help moving traffic through the detours, which will take people through central Boulevard, Division Avenue and Gore Street. The detour will also take drivers through South and Anderson streets.

 The cameras will allow the city to have multiple eyes on the road with three officers scheduled to be stationed downtown.

"Is there any way to have avoided such a major road closure?" asked Channel 9's Racquel Asa.

"One of the problems was when we looked at the type of work they were going to be doing and if we did it in phases we still would have the same type of closures," said Consoli.

Once the main section of Orange Avenue is torn up and fixed, it'll be able to accommodate the future expansion of Interstate 4, which is scheduled to start next year, officials said.

The three-week closure is expected to wrap up on Aug. 10.

More pedestrian safety improvements are also slated with the opening of the Doctor Phillips Center For the Performing Arts.