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New I-4 ramp to ease travel for Florida drivers


Starting Friday, commuters on Interstate 4 will have a new route available to them to avoid the traffic of downtown Orlando.A new off-ramp is opening up and it will allow drivers to go from Sanford all the way to Kissimmee without getting on the interstate.The first ramp connecting I-4 to the new Wekiva Parkway will open Friday morning.It is a years-long, $1.6 billion project that officials say they hope will add another route for people to get around central Florida. “Before the crack of dawn we will be out here opening this ramp from westbound I-4 to southbound/westbound State Road 429,” Mary Brooks of FDOT said. Beginning Friday, drivers heading down I-4 from Volusia County will be able to get off the interstate in Seminole County and take the new Wekiva Parkway all the way down to Osceola County. “There absolutely will be the option now, that rather than taking I-4 say from Volusia through downtown to head toward Disney or to Tampa, you can now take the parkway around and bypass a lot of that congested area and reach the same destination,” Brooks said. The opening of the interchange ramp is just the first step in finishing the final section of the Wekiva Parkway.Construction began back in 2018 and since then officials say the need for an alternate route on the west side of I-4 has only grown as the population has ballooned. “If you look around here when we started this project in 2018, there was one apartment complex at the ramp. Now you see three or four,” Brooks said. The bridges connecting State Road 429 to State Road 417 as well as the other on and off-ramps connecting the parkway to the interstate remain under construction.But officials say even having just one ramp open could ease commuters’ drive time. “It is making travel easier. It is helping with commute times. It’s also providing an opportunity or an alternative if there are any incidents,” Brooks said. Officials say they expect the entire project to be completed sometime in 2023.

Starting Friday, commuters on Interstate 4 will have a new route available to them to avoid the traffic of downtown Orlando.

A new off-ramp is opening up and it will allow drivers to go from Sanford all the way to Kissimmee without getting on the interstate.

The first ramp connecting I-4 to the new Wekiva Parkway will open Friday morning.

It is a years-long, $1.6 billion project that officials say they hope will add another route for people to get around central Florida.

“Before the crack of dawn we will be out here opening this ramp from westbound I-4 to southbound/westbound State Road 429,” Mary Brooks of FDOT said.

Beginning Friday, drivers heading down I-4 from Volusia County will be able to get off the interstate in Seminole County and take the new Wekiva Parkway all the way down to Osceola County.

“There absolutely will be the option now, that rather than taking I-4 say from Volusia through downtown to head toward Disney or to Tampa, you can now take the parkway around and bypass a lot of that congested area and reach the same destination,” Brooks said.

The opening of the interchange ramp is just the first step in finishing the final section of the Wekiva Parkway.

Construction began back in 2018 and since then officials say the need for an alternate route on the west side of I-4 has only grown as the population has ballooned.

“If you look around here when we started this project in 2018, there was one apartment complex at the ramp. Now you see three or four,” Brooks said.

The bridges connecting State Road 429 to State Road 417 as well as the other on and off-ramps connecting the parkway to the interstate remain under construction.

But officials say even having just one ramp open could ease commuters’ drive time.

“It is making travel easier. It is helping with commute times. It’s also providing an opportunity or an alternative if there are any incidents,” Brooks said.

Officials say they expect the entire project to be completed sometime in 2023.



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