This past February 2022, local and visiting motorists gained a brand new way to shorten and simplify their travel around the Orlando Metro Area. I-4 Express opened their long-awaited double toll-managed lanes in each direction of Interstate 4. This time-saving alternative traffic path spans just west of Kirkman Road (State Road 435) in West Orlando and continues 21 miles to east of State Road 434 in Longwood/North Orlando.
I-4 Express was conceived as part of the I-4 Ultimate project. This 21-mile makeover of I-4 between Kirkman Road and Longwood rebuilt and reconfigured lanes and bridges to increase the lifespan of the interstate and accommodate motorists today and into the future. Construction work on the I-4 Ultimate Improvement Project is nearing completion. All along the 21-mile stretch, general-use lanes, interchanges, and ramps are in their final configurations. Pedestrian features such as tunnels and bridges have been moved into place. I-4 has undergone a tremendous transformation over the past few years, and will continue to take shape as work wraps up across Central Florida’s most vital transportation artery.
The addition of I-4 Express managed toll lanes are the answer to a difficult problem of outpacing exponential traffic growth. Shortly after I-4 opened to traffic in the late 1950s, FDOT began making enhancements, adding capacity and connectivity to the interstate in an effort to keep up. Determining there was no viable way to outbuild Orlando’s expansive congestion, FDOT ultimately selected a managed lanes approach. The current configuration from Kirkman Road through S.R. 434 is the ultimate buildout of I-4, maximizing the available right of way without damaging the infrastructure of downtown and other historic neighborhoods. There are many successful examples of managed lanes throughout the United States and even in Florida. The 95 Express and 595 Express in southeast Florida, Veterans Expressway in Tampa, and 295 Express in Jacksonville are managed lanes facilities already in use by Florida motorists.
Starting in March 2022, toll rates are fixed at 50 cents per tolling segment as an introductory rate. Traveling the entire length of I-4 Express will cost $3.50 for eastbound and $3.00 for westbound during the introductory period. Tolls are collected electronically, and motorists need a properly mounted SunPass or another Florida-accepted transponder. There is no cash or TOLL-BY-PLATE option.
Following the introductory rate, toll pricing will be adjusted based on traffic volumes in I-4 Express to manage congestion. Overhead signage will always display the current rate per trip ahead of each entrance. Vehicles with two axles are allowed in I-4 Express. Vehicles with three or more axles are not allowed unless they are designated emergency vehicles. Examples of vehicles with three or more axles may include trucks, large recreational vehicles (RVs), and vehicles pulling trailers.
Motorists are reminded to drive alert and undistracted, and pay attention to signage as navigational systems may not yet be up to date. In cases of emergency on I-4 Express, use the shoulders and wait for first responders. Road Rangers, who can be reached by dialing *347 (*FHP), also will be available to assist first responders as well as make minor mechanical repairs.
To learn more about I-4 Express, visit i4express.com to browse videos, a trip planner and other resources.