Help coming to ease traffic congestion on I4 in Walt Disney World area
Help is coming for I4, but we will have to be patient, just like anyone must be lately if they use I4 between Highway 27 and Walt Disney World.
Express lanes are going to be added to the entire stretch. This means that in addition to the exist six lanes (three each way), four lanes will be added (two each way) with limited access from the three existing. The new lanes will run down the center of the highway. So for traffic that is going straight through, and wants to avoid the congestion, they can enter the express lanes and drive for some distance without other traffic entering or leaving the express lanes.
Plus, no trucks or trailer of any kind will be permitted in the express lanes. I’m not sure I personally think that’s a wise decision, as much of the traffic congesting I4 is long distance transport trucks going straight through who could benefit from being off the main lanes and fighting with tourists and commuters entering and exiting the highway.
But… the addition of 60% more capacity, with that capacity being dedicated to those going straight through the area, will no doubt make a huge difference. In addition, there will be some on and exit ramps added so that in some places, traffic can directly enter and leave the express lanes, without having to cut through the three lanes of general traffic. For more info on Express lanes, check out the document available at this link here: Express Lanes.
If anyone is interested in more information about the upcoming improvements to I4, there is a lousy website offered by the Florida Department of Transportation available at this link here: I4 – Beyond the Ultimate
Speaking of traffic, apparently there are plans in the works (of which I can find out nothing at all!) for improvements to CR532 also known as Osceola-Polk line road. Apparently, with the construction of the Poinciana Parkway Connector, the county will be increasing the existing two lanes to a four lane divided highway from 17-92 to Lake Wilson Road. I have searched and been unable to find exactly what these improvements will look like.
I’m still terrified at the thought of the new connector running up to an at-grade intersection where it will simply dump traffic onto CR532, BUT the truth is, the traffic on this road eventually ends up on CR532 anyway, either by using 17-92, or by taking Ronald Reagan Parkway to Old Lake Wilson Road, so I suppose that in actual practice it won’t make much of a difference to traffic volume on CR532. Plus, if the construction of the Poinciana Parkway Extension also means improvements to CR532, doubling its with and making divided lanes, then I must admit that is a good thing. I’m still concerned about the intersection of CR532 and Old Lake Wilson Road which currently has no lights, traffic lights or signage (only turn lanes), but I can’t imagine them doubling CR532 and not making improvements to this intersection.
And a reminder, we are months away from a redevelopment of the intersection of I4 and CR532 (at Champions Gate) starting which is designed to improve getting traffic on and off of I4. They call it temporary, but the permanent plans for I4 show the temporary intersection design so I don’t understand what will make it temporary. I think they refer to it this way because there will be changes on I4 in the area with the addition of the express lanes, but as near as I can determine from the construction documents (that are brutally hard to read – want to smack the draftsman around on that) there are no further changes to the intersection and on and off ramps themselves beyond what is already planned. You can see the ‘temporary’ new intersection plan here: I4 and CR532 Intersection Plan
Patience everyone! (Think happy thoughts! Think happy thoughts!)