Empty roads allow Florida to slash construction time for $2.3bn highway scheme

The Florida Department of Transport has announced that part of the work on a $2.3bn project to upgrade the I-4 highway in Orlando will be completed up to two months ahead of schedule, owing to lack of traffic caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

Lane closures and extended work hours will enable work on segments in central Orlando and a nearby interchange to be completed by the summer.

Kevin Thibault, secretary of the state’s Department of Transportation, said: "The department completely understands that I-4 is a major artery within our state’s transportation system and delivering these significant portions of the I-4 Ultimate Project is a huge win for Florida’s residents and economy."

He added that normal traffic volumes of between 100,000 and 120,000 vehicles a day has fallen to 40,000.

The Orlando Weekly notes that the I-4 project is currently 250 days behind schedule.

The Florida Department of Transport says it is looking at other projects to accelerate while traffic has decreased.

The I-4 Ultimate Project, due to be completed late next year, involves reconstruction of 34km of the I-4, which runs across Florida from Tampa in the west to Daytona Beach in the east, with Orlando in the centre.

Image: Westbound Interstate 4 (AHeneen/CC BY 4.0)

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