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Reps. Soto, Demings and Murphy Request Update from Florida Dept. of Transportation on “I-4 Ultimate Project”

Washington, D.C. –  Central Florida representatives Darren Soto, Val Demings and Stephanie Murphy sent a letter today to Secretary Dew of the Florida Department of Transportation expressing their concerns over a recent Moody’s Investment Service report, which states that construction on Interstate 4 (I-4) is over 245 days behind schedule and $100 million over budget. The representatives have requested to receive a status update on this situation.

In a joint statement, Reps. Soto, Demings and Murphy stated: “Central Florida is one of the fastest growing regions in the country. Our residents deserve a world-class transportation infrastructure network that is efficient, safe, and reliable. Our delegation has been working hard in Congress to deliver much-needed transportation infrastructure investments for central Florida to ensure timely completion of ongoing projects.  It’s very problematic that the I-4 Ultimate project is both behind schedule and over budget. Taxpayers deserve answers!”

The I-4 Ultimate project is funded through a public-private partnership, which includes federal funds. Moody’s recently released report revised the project’s outlook from stable to negative due to three main factors: an estimated 245-day delay to the original substantial completion date of December 2020, a requested additional $100 million in compensation from the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and a high level of accumulated noncompliance points.

Accordingly, Reps. Soto, Demings and Murphy have requested a status update from Secretary Dew to learn more about the cost overruns, construction delays, and what FDOT plans to do to mitigate these recent developments. 

_____________________________________

See below for the full text of the letter. 

July 13, 2018

The Honorable Mike Dew
Secretary
Florida Department of Transportation
605 Suwannee Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399

Dear Secretary Dew:

We write today to express our concerns over a recent Moody’s Investment Service report that concluded construction on Interstate 4 (I-4) is over 245 days behind schedule and $100 million over budget. We respectfully request a status update on this situation and why the 21-mile, $2.3 billion dollar, “I-4 Ultimate” project is over eight months behind schedule and $100 million over budget.

As you know, I-4 Ultimate is an important project for Central Florida. The project is funded through a public-private partnership including federal funds, and because of that partnership, Moody’s periodically provides loan investment ratings. Moody’s recently released an investors report on the I-4 Mobility Partners loan and revised the project’s outlook from stable to negative due to three main factors. First, the report estimates a 245-day delay to the original substantial completion date of December 2020 to September 2021. Second, Moody’s indicated there is a related claim, associated with the delay, filed with Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) for an additional $100 million in compensation. Third, there is a high level of accumulated noncompliance points in the month of May associated with minor flooding which led to lane closures. We understand the FDOT maintains active communication with I-4 Mobility Partners and is engaging in additional project oversight. Accordingly, we would like to know more about the cost overruns, construction delays, and what FDOT plans to do to mitigate these recent developments.

Therefore, we respectfully request that FDOT provide us with a status update on why construction on the I-4 Ultimate project is behind schedule and $100 million over budget. We thank you in advance for your attention to this matter.

Sincerely,

Rep. Darren Soto
Rep. Val Demings
Rep. Stephanie Murphy

CC: The Honorable Elaine L. Chao – U.S. Secretary of Transportation

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