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I-4 Ultimate gets ready to heat up

Prep work cuts a broad swath at the Maitland Boulevard interchange
Prep work cuts a broad swath at the Maitland Boulevard interchange (Florida Department of Transportation)

Nearly six months into the I-4 Ultimate project, much of the prep work has been done in anticipation of major construction during the summer.

Bridge work will start throughout the 21-mile expanse from Kirkman Road in Orange County to just east of State Road 434 in Seminole County. Crews will begin working in the middle of I-4, building up the median so that traffic can flow in that area.

As a result of the work, traffic will shift to the median so that work can begin on widening the thoroughfare.

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While cars are diverted around the work zones, there will not be a loss of lanes during peak travel time. But lanes will be closed at night. Sixty to 70 percent of the work will be done during the day and the rest at night.

As for daytime travel, "We anticipate that drivers will slow down as they see equipment and workers, and look to see what is going on," said David Parks, public information officer for the project.

At the peak of construction 1,500 to 2,000 workers will be along I-4.

The I-4 project stated in February and is expected to last until early 2021. The $2.3 billion undertaking is meant to ease severe congestion on a roadway that was started in 1958 with a 8.2 miles stretch from Rio Grande Avenue to Lee Road.

The I-4 Ultimate is the biggest infrastructure project in Florida Department of Transportation history.

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