• Severe weather adds to drivers' headaches on I-4

    By: Kevin Williams , Steve Barrett , Ken Tyndall

    Updated:

    ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - After heavy rain and storms caused a nightmare for I-4 drivers Wednesday night, road crews spent Thursday trying to get ahead of flood-prone areas.

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    Wednesday evening, two westbound lanes on I-4 had to be closed at the West Michigan Street exit during the evening rush because of rising floodwaters. Road crews reopened the lanes about six hours later.

    Flooding also caused the closure of two eastbound lanes of I-4 near the exit to South Kirkman Road, officials said.

    Drivers also said it's hard to see the lines between the lanes when it rains.

    "They're pretty invisible in some places, but it changes every day," driver Ian Thomas said. "Some days you can see them, and some days you can't."

    The lane shifts and restriping can be confusing enough. Some drivers say it's even tough to see the lines when it's dry.

    "The paint is pretty dull, not very prominent," driver Kevin Ruane said.

    Read: Flooding closes 2 lanes of I-4 near downtown Orlando, Universal

    But when it's raining, they said it's downright dangerous.

    "It can make it pretty scary sometimes," driver Hayden Buchanan said. "If you have somebody right next to you, and they might see the line and you might not, or vice versa. And then you're going this way, and they want to turn (into your lane)."

    Florida Department of Transportation spokesman Steve Olson told Eyewitness News agency officials met with the I-4 Ultimate project's contractors Thursday morning and reminded them there could be penalties if the flooding issue isn't fixed.

    "Our expectation, and the traveling public's expectation, is you don't have the interstate flood out like it did Wednesday night," Olson said.

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    As far as the lane striping, FDOT has said before that it's trying to make the lines more prominent when they have to shift lanes.

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