ORLANDO — Starting Thursday morning, Interstate 4 eastbound drivers who want to get onto Fairbanks Avenue need to do so nearly two miles sooner.
- Drivers who want to get off of Fairbanks will need to use Par Street
- This is part of the I-4 Ultimate project
- Read the map to understand the change ►
- SEE BELOW: Check out the video for new Fairbanks exit ▼
Joseph Creech's Hunger Street Tacos has been open for more than a year now and that requires him to use the I-4 eastbound off-ramp to Fairbanks Avenue every day to get to his business.
"Definitely will cause some headaches early on, but I think that at this point, we're sort of just so used to surprises," said Creech.
Central Florida commuters should start getting ready for yet another surprise. Starting Thursday morning, another major traffic shift is taking place along I-4.
The current I-4 eastbound off-ramp to Fairbanks Avenue (exit 87) will close, forcing drivers to exit much earlier.
A driver exiting off of I-4 eastbound at Fairbanks Avenue will be going to have to completely re-think the way to exit. Two miles sooner to be exact.
When the shift starts, the Fairbanks Avenue exit will combine with Par Street (exit 86). Once drivers exits at Par Street, they will encounter a decision point about halfway down the ramp to continue down a new temporary ramp exit to Fairbanks Avenue.
"Right now, we've basically created this two mile long ramp to make room for crews here getting ready for construction while we keep traffic moving," said Dave Parks, the public information officer for the I-4 Ultimate project.
While the new ramp from I-4 eastbound to Fairbanks Avenue may be temporary, this is actually a permanent structure. The ramp lanes will eventually be I-4 eastbound through lanes when the I-4 Ultimate Project is all said and done.
As for Creech, he just hopes the new exit does not confuse drivers too much.
"A lot of times, we're getting off late from a long night and you get up to the ramp and it's shut off so you've got to find an alternate way home," he said.
The I-4 Ultimate project is a $2.3 billion plan to restructure 21 miles of the interstate from west of Kirkman Road in Orlando to east of State Road 434 in Longwood.