TAMPA, Florida - A landmark construction project is nearing completion, but not nearly as fast as FDOT -- and drivers -- had originally hoped.
The I-4 Connector project, which will allow drivers to transfer seamlessly between the Selmon Expressway and I-4, was originally slated to wrap up this summer. But FDOT has granted more than a year's worth of extensions to contractors PCL and Archer-Western, and the project isn't slated for completion until next March now.
PCL/Archer-Western originally won the contract because they claimed they could get the job done in the fewest number of days.
In 2011, the 10 News Investigators exposed the contractors ignoring the blueprints and making mistakes that took significant time and money to fix. They then submitted notice that they may try and bill FDOT for the repairs. So far, FDOT has not granted any of those requests.
But FDOT says the $400 million project is technically only a month behind schedule because of so many approved extensions. Of the 382 adjusted days: 45 have been because of weather; 27 have been because of holidays; and 310 have been from other extensions, like unforseen circumstances and changed work items.
When completed, the new highway will ease congestion on the small streets of Ybor City; it will give drivers in Brandon an easy way to I-275 in Tampa; and it will give drivers in South Pinellas or South Tampa a way to I-4 without having to deal with I-275 in Tampa.
PCL/Archer-Western are currently anticipating a mid-March completion for the project, but they'll pay approximately $24,000 in penalties for every day they miss FDOT's current completion date, Feb. 14.
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