ORLANDO (WESH) — With traffic on the Central Florida’s highways down significantly due to the coronavirus pandemic, Gov. Ron DeSantis said he’s directed transportation officials to speed up work on the I-4 Ultimate Project.
DeSantis said during a news conference Saturday morning that he hopes to be able to get the I-4 Ultimate Project and other projects around the state done quicker.
Gov. DeSantis and officials with the Florida Department of Transportation said will crews ramp up their efforts in certain areas, including downtown Orlando, by shifting lanes during the day. Lane closures are typically done at night.
DeSantis said speeding up the project will not cost taxpayers anymore money and speed things up by about one or two months.
Among the areas construction crews will be focusing on include the State Road 408 interchange in downtown Orlando and the State Road 434 interchange in Longwood.
Last year, officials said I-4 Ultimate was nine months behind schedule for multiple reasons like Hurricane Irma, damages, and fatal accidents.
In the midst of the coronavirus outbreak, FDOT quietly revealed earlier this week that it’s paying the group doing the I-4 Ultimate construction millions more than originally projected.
A news release sent late in the day on Friday March 13, subtly revealed state officials have agreed to pay the group doing the I-4 Ultimate Construction an additional $125 million to get the job done.
FDOT said the $125 million is coming from funds already in it’s budget.
The headline on the release claims the I-4 project has reached a major milestone with the opening of the I-4, 408 interchange this summer. Buried at the bottom is a paragraph that says:
“A settlement of claims made by the concessionaire for unforeseen impacts and financial compensation of approximately $125 million has been agreed upon by the project parties.”