New lanes open on I-4 in Orlando

ORLANDO, Fla. — Drivers beware: Part of I-4 in downtown Orlando may feel unfamiliar.

A stretch of new, permanent lanes opened Saturday as part of the I-4 Ultimate Project.

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The Florida Department of Transportation opened new westbound lanes between Gore Street and Orange Blossom Trail.

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Watch below: Traffic anchor Racquel Asa explains the changes


(WATCH & SHARE THIS) BIG CHANGES THIS WEEKEND: I-4 Ultimate workers shifting traffic to newly built lanes I-4 Westbound between Gore Street and Orange Blossom Trail. TIMELINE: Starting Friday night into Saturday, construction crews wil close ramps at 408 & I-4, I-4 at Michigan, I-4 at Gore . Closures start at 10:00pm to 5:00am. New lanes will open and closures will wrap up by 5:00am Saturday. WHAT TO EXPECT: Once traffic is shifted to new I-4 Westbound lanes, I-4 Westbound exit ramp to Orange Blossom Trail will CLOSE Saturday morning until Monday morning 6:00am. 2 WAYS TO LEARN MORE: https://bit.ly/2xtUxeO https://at.wftv.com/2xxIWLF

Posted by Racquel Asa WFTV on Friday, June 1, 2018

Slideshow: I-4 Ultimate project renderings

Drivers will notice several changes:

  • Drivers who exit westbound I-4 at Michigan Street will now do so about a half mile later.
  • Drivers entering westbound I-4 from Gore Street or State Route 408 will no longer have to merge with traffic that is trying to exit to Michigan Street.
  • Drivers on Kaley Avenue will enter westbound I-4 on a new two-lane ramp that diverges to either enter westbound I-4 or continues onto an adjacent road connecting to Michigan Street.

Link: FDOT to shift westbound I-4 to new lanes June 2 

Another benefit for drivers will help on rainy days. A spokesperson from the I-4 Ultimate project told Channel 9’s Ty Russel the elevated lanes, fresh pavement, new reflectors, and new paint will help drivers during Central Florida downpours.

In May, a stretch of wet weather and flash flooding caused consistent concern for I-4 drivers near Michigan Street. Crews sometimes had to close lanes because of rising floodwaters.

Read: Severe weather adds to drivers' headaches on I-4