I-4 overhaul cost, schedule troubles get congressional scrutiny
Declaring that taxpayers deserve to know more, Central Florida’s Democratic U.S. Reps. Darren Soto, Val Demings and Stephanie Murphy today asked the state’s top transportation official why the “I-4 Ultimate project is both behind schedule and over budget.”
As reported by Moody’s Investors Services, the I-4 contractor asked the state late last month for $100 million in additional compensation and for 245 days of additional time for the job.
“We would like to know more about the cost overruns, construction delays, and what FDOT plans to do to mitigate these recent developments,” states the letter to the agency’s secretary, Mike Dew.
The $2.3 billion, 21-mile overhaul of I-4 in Seminole and Orange counties – principally to add toll lanes – began in 2015 with a completion target of early 2121.
The claim for $100 million and 245 days had not been previously disclosed by state officials or by the joint venture rebuilding the interstate, I-4 Mobility Partners.
Moody's reported on June 28 that it had posted a negative outlook for three loans totaling $1.4 billion taken on by I-4 Mobility Partners, which also is an investor in the massive project. The investment advisor cited weather and construction failures as key factors in budget and schedule concerns.
The department of transportation did not respond immediately to a request for comment on the representatives’ demand.
The department on Thursday emphasized that the claim by I-4 Mobility Partners was under review and that no schedule or budget changes have been made.
“We respectfully request that FDOT provide us with a status update,” the representatives’ letter states.
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