• Workers spiff up I-4, downtown for All-Star weekend


    ORLANDO, Fla.,None - It's all hands on deck to spiff up Orlando in time for the NBA All-Star weekend.

    WFTV's Steve Barrett spotted extra work crews cleaning up Interstate 4 and asked whether clean sweeps like this happen all the time, or just for special events.

    Drivers along I-4 might have noticed a lot of orange vests Wednesday morning as state workers and some state prisoners helped clean up for the big game.

    They raked, trimmed and swept away debris and other eyesores to put on Orlando's best face for the NBA All-Star game.

    "After all, the eyes of the nation are going to be on downtown for the All-Star game (and) also in Daytona for the 500, so the effort is on to make Central Florida look as good as it possibly can," the Florida Department of Transportation's Steve Olson said.

    FDOT said they're not spending any extra money. The Department of Corrections inmates work for free, and FDOT staff that would normally work in other areas have been temporarily reassigned to I-4 in
    downtown Orlando.

    Some city workers were also found doing things like repainting curbs in parking lots that surround the Amway Center, but the most noticeable manpower is sweeping down I-4.

    Debris in places where homeless people set up camp has been gathering for a long time, so WFTV wanted to know why the city was handling it now.

    "We also patrol I-4 regularly, picking up all kinds of stuff, machine parts, metal, mattresses," Olson said. "So in addition to the stuff we normally do, we're going a little above and beyond here to make it look really nice for the All-Star weekend."

    The city also deployed its street-sweepers throughout downtown along with a small army of workers to pick up trash. Workers were also photographed planting crotons in the big planter around Orlando City Hall.

    If you see changes for the All-Star weekend, you can upload photos or video.

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