ORLANDO, Fla. -- The "I-4 Ultimate" project is behind schedule and over budget, an investment ratings report says -- which could mean commuters driving in construction zones for months longer than expected.
- Moody's investor report downgrades 'I-4 Ultimate' project
- Report says construction concessionaire wants more time, money
- FDOT denies time frame, budget has changed for I-4 Ultimate
- RELATED: FDOT threatens payment deductions to I-4 contractors over flooding
- READ IT: Moody's Investor Service report on I-4 Mobility Partners (PDF)
The recently released report, put together by Moody's Investor Service, downgraded the I-4 Ultimate project's outlook from stable to negative.
That is very concerning to the private investors, who are part of the public-private partnership that funds the project to widen and improve almost two dozen miles of Interstate 4 in the Central Florida area.
But along with the investors, regular drivers are also expressing their concern.
"It's horrible, yes. I said it... it is horrible," driver Keysi Quezada said. "It is going to be a pain for people who are traveling back and forth."
The report determined that the I-4 Ultimate project is behind schedule by eight months, estimating a 245-day delay in completion. On top of that, the report says concessionaire I-4 Mobility Partners is asking the Florida Department of Transportation for $100 million in additional compensation.
The Moody's report says the reason for the delays and need for more money comes from drilled shaft failures and flooding, which has led to foundation issues.
Florida transportation officials insisted Thursday that the time frame and budget for the project have not changed.
"The I-4 Ultimate project remains on budget, and the final completion time period of early 2021 remains the same."
As for the concessionaire's request for more money, FDOT said that's still under review.
"While the claim is being reviewed, construction activities are continuing and the contractor is being held to the terms of the contract with the original completion dates set forth in the agreement. No time extensions or financial considerations have been granted to the contractor from FDOT," an agency statement said.
As for Quezada, she has one request: "Finish on time, that would be my, my suggestion."
FDOT will have 120 days to review and respond to the claim made by I-4 Mobility Partners, the Moody's report said.