SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. — A less congested Interstate-4 is coming, possibly in early 2022. But it will cost you.
Channel 9 got a tour of the new I-4 express lanes on Thursday.
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When the lanes open, drivers will be able to go directly onto the express lanes without entering regular traffic on I-4 from 14-different places.
From there you merge into the paid express lanes that go right down the middle of regular traffic.
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“The express lanes are a pretty powerful tool for the department to help manage congestion on the I-4 corridor,” said Jim Stroz, FDOT district traffic operations engineer.
Roughly two miles before each entry point, drivers will see signs letting them know the price to different locations giving them time to make a choice: stay in the regular lanes or pay to use the new express lanes.
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Stroz said there are six to seven different express lane segments each costing 50 cents. That’s the introductory price set to begin early 2022, which means an entire trip along 21-miles would be $3 to $3.50.
But in the future prices will be based on traffic and demand. The more traffic, the higher the price.
You can click here for more information about specific routes and to learn the entry and exit points.
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There are some parts of I-4 where you can get in and out, but also parts where you can jump into the express lanes directly from a local street.
“Drivers are going to need to spend a lot of time learning how to use that new road,” said Dave Parks, I-4 ultimate public information officer.
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There is no cash or pay-by-plate option on the express lanes. You have to use a transponder or face a $25 fee plus the tolls.
There is no word yet on a maximum amount for the tolls. In South Florida on the original I-95 express, the maximum toll is $1.50 per mile, but you will know the price before you get on.
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