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I-4 express lanes: What you need to know

ORLANDO, Fla. — The Interstate 4 express lanes are officially open.

Here’s everything you need to know about the new lanes, according to the Florida Department of Transportation.

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What is I-4 Express?

FDOT is giving drivers managed lanes options on some of its most heavily traveled highways.

I-4 Express was constructed as part of the I-4 Ultimate project, a 21-mile reconstruction of I-4.

Drivers will have the option to enter the lanes in each direction through limited access points to get to where they need to go.

The highway lanes were designed to address congested areas.

READ: Watch your speed: Troopers ready to catch speeders, hand out tickets when I-4 Express opens

Who can use the express lanes?

I-4 Express allows two-axle vehicles only.

Large trucks and trailers must stay in the general use lanes.

Where can I enter and exit?

Entering and exiting the lanes may be confusing at first. There are a limited number of entry and exit points along I-4 Express.

Beginning east of State Road 434, there are seven entry ramps and eight exit ramps along the westbound lanes.

From west of Kirkman Road in Orange County, eastbound I-4 has seven entry ramps and eight exits.

Depending on your destination, you may need to exit early or continue past the general use lane interchange before you exit I-4 Express.

READ: What you need to know about new express lanes coming to I-4

There are signs located about a mile ahead of an entrance ramp to help you navigate where you’re going.

Entrance points to the express lanes from the general use lanes will be on the left.

There are direct connect points along the I-4 corridor where you can enter I-4 Express directly from local roads.

You can also exit I-4 on direct connect points in some areas, so you won’t have to go on the general use lanes to exit.

I-4 Express lanes by WFTV on Scribd

How much will it cost?

The express lanes require electronic toll payments, like E-PASS or SunPass.

The pricing for tolls on the express lanes is not a fixed rate. It will vary based on demand for access to I-4 Express.

Pricing will be adjusted depending on traffic volumes to manage congestion.

READ: I-4 Express: FDOT expects interstate to be busier than usual while express lanes are free of charge

FDOT said the lanes will open with an introductory rate of 50 cents per tolling segment.

During the introductory period, traveling the length of I-4 Express will cost $3.50 eastbound and $3.00 westbound.

You must have a transponder to use the express lanes. If you don’t have one, you’ll be charged a $25 violation plus the cost of tolls.

There is no cash or toll-by-plate option on I-4 Express.

Planning your trip

The express lanes are intended for longer trips along I-4.

FDOT has created an interactive map to see where you can enter and exit the lanes based on your destination.

Click here to plan your trip.

What if my vehicle breaks down or there is an emergency?

If your vehicle breaks down along the I-4 express lanes, you should move to the right shoulder and stay in your car.

Call 911 if its an emergency or call *FHP (*347) if it’s a nonemergency.

READ: I-4 Express: Stickers along lanes display critical information in case of emergency situations

If there is a serious crash along the express lanes, first responders may enter I-4 through access gates. The access gates are located about every 2-miles along the express lanes.

Do not follow emergency vehicles through the gates.

What are the benefits of using the express lanes?

Less stress.

I-4 Express is designed to keep traffic moving, which provides more reliable travel times.

Avoid congestion.

I-4 Express can help you skip congested areas when traveling through the busiest interstate corridor in Central Florida.

READ: Here’s when the I-4 Ultimate express lanes will open

No stopping.

Tolls are collected electronically with an active and properly mounted SunPass or any other Florida-accepted transponder.

To learn more, click here.

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Katlyn Brieskorn, WFTV.com

Katlyn Brieskorn is a Digital Assignment Editor at WFTV. She joined Channel 9 in July 2019.

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