F.D.O.T. Looking To Feds To Make I-4 Construction Zone Safer

Daytona Beach, FL – Ever since construction began to widen the Interstate-4 corridor between DeLand and Daytona Beach, that 11-mile stretch of road between State Road 44 and U.S. 92 has seen more than its fair share of accidents.
But despite pressure from Volusia County officials and a rising accident rate, the Florida Department of Transportation says they can’t do anything about making the road safer unless they get federal assistance.
When – or if – that will come is uncertain.
F.D.O.T. spokesman Steve Olson tells WNDB they’ve spoken with some county officials about the ongoing issues, including Council member Pat Northey, the same woman who’s publicly called that stretch of I-4 a “cattle chute”.
Florida Highway Patrol officials and first responders have also complained about the construction, saying it’s hampered their response times when trying to get to the scene of accidents
Those concerns, Olson says, have led to a plan that F.D.O.T. estimates will cost over $2 million dollars to implement.
“We want to remove barrier walls on the outside lanes and pave some asphalt shoulders in specific locations out there,” Olson stated.
The hope is that those added shoulders will give emergency vehicles more space to move by not having to resort to using the same traffic lanes which could be filled bumper-to-bumper with cars, not to mention give law enforcement a way to move blocked vehicles more efficiently around accident scenes.
F.D.O.T. also plans to add more mile marker signs – at least 1 for every 2/10ths of a mile – along that stretch of I-4 so that stranded motorists have a location they can give to dispatchers when they call for help.
But in order to do all of that, according to Olson, the F.D.O.T. will have to go to the Federal Highway Administration to get the cash and they’re the ones setting the timetable.
“Before we can move ahead, we need federal approval and a review process,” Olson added. “We really don’t have a timetable how long that’s going to take.”
And if the feds don’t come through, Olson says their options are limited for making that segment of I-4 any safer, especially since there are no exits anywhere between S.R. 44 and U.S. 92.
“It’s not a for-sure thing right now,” Olson added when asked if their plan will get approved. “We’re trying to expedite [the approval process].”
F.H.P. reports there were 37 accidents in the I-4 construction zone in July 2013, an average of more than 1 a day.
via F.D.O.T. Looking To Feds To Make I-4 Construction Zone Safer

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