Three years after I-4 crash, fog detectors still stalled

12:30 AM, Jan 10, 2011   |    comments
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Polk County, Florida -- Some call it one of the worst car crashes the state of Florida has ever seen.

Three years ago Sunday, a massive, 70-car pile up on Interstate-4 through Polk County killed five people and injured dozens of others.

In the aftermath, the Florida Department of Transportation promised road improvements.

They say they've made some, but one of the biggest upgrades could still be several years away.

Since that deadly day in January of 2008, FDOT points to new cameras, sensors on the road that read traffic patterns and electronic message boards to warn drivers of any danger, as progress.

"It's all about monitoring the roadway and then also having a way to communicate that back to the public," said Cindy Clemmons, a spokesperson for FDOT.

But 10 News has learned fog detectors, expected to go in up and down I-4, have been delayed by at least two more years.

FDOT says the detectors would go in the center median of the interstate, which is the same place as the proposed high-speed rail.

"We always need to make sure that we're spending taxpayers money wisely, and so we didn't want to go and install a system that we would later have to go and relocate," Clemmons said, adding the agency feels "really good" about the improvements that have been made.

She also points out that any construction on the rail project would give them extra sets of eyes monitoring the road.

The fog detectors aren't in the budget until 2013.

Adam Freeman, 10 News

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