Orlando to spend nearly $8M to improve stretch of I-Drive



The city of Orlando is about to spend nearly $8 million to make major improvements to the infrastructure of International Drive, one of its most traveled roads.

The project will stretch a mile and a half from Oak Ridge Road to Universal Boulevard, where Wet N' Wild sits.

It's slated to start at the beginning of next year.

The project is expected to impact drivers, visitors, businesses and more.

There are anywhere from 24,000 to 57,000 cars that drive through the area every day. Millions of dollars, mostly Florida Department of Transportation funds, are about to make it a smoother ride.

"It's all about car traffic going to all these restaurants and things," said visitor Clyde Cruise.

"It continues near the Kirkman Road intersection, which is one of the most heavily traveled intersections of the city on up towards the Festival Bay Mall up by the Prime Outlets International," said Jeffrey Arms with the city of Orlando.

When it's completed near the beginning of 2014, drivers can expect an added right turning lane, wider sidewalks, improved crosswalks, and a lane just for buses.

"It's not easy to see what happens in front of it," said tourist Reiata Sambaio.

The project will also bring a system to give more green lights, complete pavement improvements to get rid of potholes, and landscaping, which will play a part in the business aspect.

"(It will create) a nicer, more aesthetically pleasing corridor," said Arms.

The city and I-Drive businesses hope a more pleasing corridor could lead to more shoppers. But before things get better, the roads may be worse. The project will take an estimated year to complete.

"We ask for everyone's patience during that process," said Arms.