Due to a significant reduction in traffic caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, five new flyover ramps at Interstate 4 and State Road 408 in Central Florida are opening ahead of schedule
Appearing in Orlando on Monday alongside state and local officials, Governor Ron DeSantis held a press conference to discuss the advancements made by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) in completing the project three months ahead of schedule.
“I wanted to ensure that we maximize construction efforts to support Florida’s economy and ensure Florida is able to reopen stronger than before. Many states throughout the country stopped all construction, they stopped manufacturing as well. I think that was a big mistake, we did not do that in Florida. We kept construction going we knew you could do it safely,” said DeSantis.
The completed project comes at the behest of DeSantis, who in April directed the FDOT to utilize the opportunity of less traffic on the roads and accelerate numerous projects — including the “I-4 Ultimate project”.
“Today’s ramp openings come more than three months ahead of schedule and not only that, but even when I accelerated it, today’s opening is 6 weeks sooner than we anticipated in April. And I think that that’s a testament to what FDOT has been able to do.”
According to DeSantis, the construction is expected to generate approximately $14.5 million in benefits to central Floridians and the entire state.
“The result of reduced delays, reduce travel times, reduce traffic crashes from the improved corridor all of which have economic benefits to the region and to the state. The interchange construction has also helped sustain more than 1,500 jobs directly associated with the I-4 Ultimate project,” said DeSantis.
The foundation and infrastructure in the state are also expected to create more room for state growth.
“Through I-4 Ultimate 21 miles of infrastructure across the state are being completely transformed with $2.4 billion in investment in Central Florida’s future. This is no simple feat. This is heavy complex construction and I am very much proud of FDOT’s work and appreciate the patience of so many people throughout central Florida,” he continued.
“This was a very trying time with a lot of uncertainty. This FDOT project is done just in time as today we move into what I’m calling the full phase one of Florida’s Safe Smart Step by Step Plan for Recovery.”