I-4 express lanes in final stages of completion, awaiting opening date

ORLANDO, Fla. — The Florida Department of Transportation almost ready to open the Interstate 4 express lanes.

Major construction is complete, and it is now training emergency crews on how to access the four middle express lanes on the 21-mile stretch of I-4.

>>> STREAM CHANNEL 9 EYEWITNESS NEWS LIVE <<<

“We’ve been working with FDOT probably for the last month in having personnel go up there get a good look at the roadway,” said Orlando Fire Department assistant chief, Felix Benitez.

Benitez said taking time on this training is vital because this is all new to all the agencies involved.

Read: 2 minorly injured after small plane crashes on I-95 in Flagler County

Crews are learning to work the emergency gates that are set up every few miles along the 21-mile stretch that gives access to first responders who need to get to a broken-down car or crash.

“We never had anything like this here in the Central Florida area. It is unique by the limited amount of areas that we have to get to these portions of the road,” Benitez added.

Read: FDA grants full approval of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine

“We can open it remotely from our regional traffic management center,” said Jessica Ottaviano, FDOT public information director. “But there’s also a manual way to open it should there ever be an issue with the technology.”

Up next for crew are mock exercise scenarios.

Read: Miss USA 2019 Cheslie Kryst dead at 30, family says

“Once everyone feels that they are comfortable, and we’ve come to a spot where, hey, we’re ready, we’ve got a great feel for it, then we can actually set the opening date,” Ottaviano said.

Click here to download the free WFTV news and weather apps, click here to download the WFTV Now app for your smart TV and click here to stream Channel 9 Eyewitness News live.