As you probably seen on the news today (1/9/08) there was an early morning horrific chain reaction accident on Interstate 4 in Polk County which is the result of low visibility due to fog and smoke from a controlled burn nearby which was reported as having got out of control. Traffic being detoured onto the principal detour route, US 92, is being reported as horrendous.
If your travel plans include a trip on Interstate 4 to Orlando and the major attractions or Tampa, prepare for a major traffic nightmare. But here at Interstate275Florida.com we'll help you get where you need to go. With that in mind here are some detours to help you get to where you need to go between Tampa and Orlando:
As I mentioned earlier the principal detour route around this mess is US 92. If you are coming from Tampa eastbound, exit Interstate 4 at the Polk Parkway (FL Toll 570) and continue east until you get to the exit for US 92 to Auburndale. You will want to head east towards Auburndale on US 92 and continue east until you get to US 27. Once there head north on US 27 and that will take you back to Interstate 4 eastbound. If you are coming from Orlando westbound, you will be diverted off of Interstate 4 at US 27; head south on US 27 until you get to US 92. Once at US 92 head west and you'll go through Auburndale and to the Polk Parkway (FL Toll 570). A westbound trip on the Polk Parkway will place you back onto Interstate 4 westbound towards Tampa.
Now there are two other detour routes in addition to US 92 that are worth your consideration: FL 60 and FL 50.
To use FL 60, from Tampa head east on FL 60 through Brandon and Bartow to Lake Wales and US 27. Once in Lake Wales head north on US 27 to Interstate 4 eastbound. From Orlando it's basically the reverse: You will be diverted at US 27; head south to Lake Wales and FL 60. Once there head west on FL 60 through Bartow and Brandon all the way to Interstate 75 and Tampa.
Now we'll cover FL 50 as this is the northern route. From Tampa use Interstate 275 north to Interstate 75 north, then continue to Exit 301, which will be FL 50 to Orlando and Brooksville. Once there head east on FL 50 and it will take you towards the Florida Turnpike and Orlando. Remember FL 50 is mostly two lanes inbetween Interstate 75 and the town of Groveland; speaking of Groveland remember to watch your speed going through this town as there is strict enforcement. From Orlando it's the reverse: Head west on FL 50 all the way to Interstate 75. Once there head south on Interstate 75 towards Tampa and St. Petersburg (via Interstate 275). By the way, FL 50 in Orlando is also known as Colonial Drive.
Hopefully this horrific accident scene on Interstate 4 should be cleared up soon and Interstate 4 will be reopened to traffic providing a crucial link between Tampa and Orlando. My thoughts go out to those affected by the chain reaction accident on Interstate 4. By the way, if you have traversed any of the detour routes due to the temporary closure of Interstate 4 please feel free to reply and let me know how long your trip from Tampa to Orlando or vice versa took.