• Drivers already worried about planned I-4 widening project in Longwood


    LONGWOOD, Fla. - Tens of thousands of drivers in Longwood have been dealing with a construction mess for almost a year and a half as road crews widen State Road 434 between Interstate 4 and Range Line Road.

    The project is halfway done, but Channel 9's Racquel Asa learned that once I-4 is widened in the same area, the road will change even more.

    As part of the widening project, the state has already purchased property off I-4 and Markham Woods Road. It's a key piece of property that will change how tens of thousands of drivers get on and off the interstate, Asa said.

    Renderings obtained by Channel 9 show plans for retention ponds and ramps that will go around them.

    Road work at the ramps isn't slated until the state starts the widening of I-4 in 2015, but Carmen Butera is among the drivers already worrying about the project.

    Butera said if the project is anything like the current one happening now on SR-434, she might have to pick up and move.

    "You have good days and bad days and on the good days you think, 'Well, maybe it won't be so bad,'" said Butera. "So it does, it makes you think."

    When Channel 9 compared the current widening plan with the plans the state has for I-4, the first thing that stood out was that the projects overlapped in some spots.

    When asked if any of the work would need to be ripped up when they start the I-4 project, a state spokesman said impact would be minimal and that the goal is to have no impact on any of the work already completed.

    The state plans to have a company lined up for the I-4 widening project sometime by April.

    LINK: Interstate 4 Widening Plans

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