WESH 2: Soto Hosts I-4 Beyond the Ultimate Discussion

March 9, 2020
In The News

"From 535 all the way down to 27 in Polk County, where a lot of the tractor trailers get off of I-4 where the tourism traffic kind of starts to subside, and it goes all the way up through Volusia County,” said U.S. Rep. Darren Soto.

That's the span of I-4 Beyond the Ultimate -- an extension of I-4 Ultimate.

Monday morning, Soto hosted House Transportation Committee Chair Peter DeFazio in Orange County for a roundtable on the construction project.

DeFazio says he's got a bill he hopes to move through the House by the end of April that would make a major increase in investments in the country's roads, bridges and highways.

“This is not just a state of Florida problem. This is an international destination. We need to be a better partner. So our intention with this bill is to be a much better partner with the state and increase our share of spending on major projects like this,” DeFazio said.

Soto talked about the $1 billion in federal funds needed to complete I-4 Beyond the Ultimate, coupled with another $1 billion from the state and local level.

"When I-4 was first created in the 1960s, we only had a half a million people living in Central Florida. Now we'll hit probably 2.7, 2.8 million. So, you can see these roads are in desperate need of improvement and expansion,” Soto said.

While I-4 Ultimate is reconstructing 21 miles of the highway from west of Kirkman Road in Orange County to east of State Road 434 in Seminole County, the Beyond project continues the reconstruction of I-4, 20 miles to the east and 20 miles to the west.