Stretch of I-4 westbound to shut down this weekend

Updated:

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. —

A major section of I-4 will shut down this weekend to make the notorious Fairbanks curve safer. All westbound lanes will close between Lee Road and Fairbanks Avenue on Sunday.

Temporary traffic signs stand ready on I-4 warning drivers of a complete shutdown to carve grooves into the road.

It's all to prevent the crashes on the curve that have happened time and time again. The state said there have been at least 50 since 2007.

"If they shut it down, how are you going to get around it?" driver Jose Torres asked.

Here's how the detour is going to work: drivers should exit at Lee Road. You'll then be directed onto 17/92 to Fairbanks Avenue, where signs will put you back westbound.

So what would normally take a minute on I-4 will at least take you 15 minutes.

The biggest challenge will be at intersections, like the one at 17/92 and Lee Road. But an officer will be stationed at each one, pushing traffic through when it backs up.

"If they are going to make the improvements, that would be a good thing I think," driver Debi Smith said.

The project was slated to start last fall. But the cost came in nearly double what the state projected, postponing it until now. It's all temporary too. Florida Department of Transportation plans to tear up the improvements once they get enough money to redesign I-4.

"Do you think that's worth the investment? I think we're broke enough as it is," driver Brad Barnard said.

All the westbound lanes on I-4 should open in time for the Monday morning commute. Crews will do a similar closure again on Monday night.