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I-4 Express Lanes Getting Closer to Opening Date

I-4 in Orlando during heavy traffic.

An Orlando car accident lawyer reveals what drivers should know

There have always been pros and cons to driving on I-4 in the Orlando area. The highway is often the most direct way to get to where you’re going. But congestion has been a problem on the road for years and traffic can slow to a standstill. A project designed to relieve that congestion is almost ready for drivers to use.

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) has announced that the Interstate 4 express lanes are set to open soon.

Major construction on the roadways has been completed, officials say. Emergency crews are now being trained on how to access the four lanes – which are in the middle of a 21-mile stretch of I-4 – if there is a car accident or a vehicle breaks down.

A goal of managing traffic congestion

Orlando Fire Department assistant chief Felix Benitez said there are emergency gates set up every few miles along the express lanes, allowing access to first responders as needed.

“We never had anything like this here in the Central Florida area. It is unique by the limited amount of areas that we have to get to these portions of the road,” he said.

FDOT public information director Jessica Ottaviano said the gates can be opened remotely from the agency’s regional traffic management center, but could also be opened manually if there was ever a problem with the technology. She said mock exercise scenarios will be held before the lanes are opened.

Construction on the lanes took six years and cost more than $2 billion. There are two lanes going each way. Motorists will be able to pay tolls to use the middle lanes to avoid traffic congestion.

Ottaviano said there will be different access points to the lanes and signs along the highway to help direct motorists.

She said that the lanes will use a dynamic tolling system. The price that drivers are charged will vary depending on the number of vehicles in the lanes. Congestion will be monitored with cameras, sensors, and DOT traffic experts. Ottaviano said that signs will let drivers know the exact cost.

In addition to emergency crew response training, the DOT has also been testing travel times on the lanes.

“Once everyone feels that they are comfortable, and we’ve come to a spot where, hey, we’re ready, we’ve got a great feel for it, then we can actually set the opening date,” Ottaviano said.

If you’ve been injured in a crash, call Cerasa Law Firm for a free consultation

Vehicles travel at high speeds on the highway, and a car accident can leave drivers and passengers with serious injuries. A negligent driver can cause a crash by going above the posted speed limit, texting and driving, or driving under the influence. But holding reckless drivers accountable can be complicated.

At-fault drivers often deny doing anything wrong. Insurance companies will try to pay victims as little money as possible. That’s why you need to talk to an experienced car accident attorney if you’ve been injured in Winter Park or Orlando.

Attorney Michael Cerasa fights for the injured by building strong cases that insurance companies have to take seriously. He offers clients experienced representation, personal attention, and a commitment to getting the best results possible. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

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