Posted: February 4, 2019
Last modified: February 4, 2019

The I-4 Ultimate Improvement Project continues to draw international interest.

Twelve current and emerging leaders from African countries, such as Niger, Mauritius and Zambia stopped in Central Florida recently to learn about the I-4Ultimate project — part of their U.S. fact-finding tour to learn about transportation and traffic safety.

The delegation’s visit was arranged through the World Affairs Council of Central Florida’s International Visitor Leadership Program, a professional exchange program of the U.S. Department of State. This visit focused on the role of government in providing a safe transportation infrastructure. While in Florida, the delegation met with numerous groups, including the University of Central Florida’s Transportation Research Group, Valencia College School of Public Safety, and Orlando’s transportation development department.

“As the visit was focused on traffic safety, and the I-4 Ultimate project is so grand with constantly changing roads, I thought it might be useful for those abroad who may have other traffic issues, but really could benefit from the practices (the project) is currently putting into place,” said Heather van Dyk, project manager for World Affairs Council of Central Florida.

“Aside from the fact that I was fascinated on it being an ambitious project, I also was thrilled by the level of safety measures that were put in place to ensure people’s safety,” said Simon Patrick Obi, founder and executive director of the GreenLight Initiative in Nigeria

During the visit, Paul Wabi, P.E., who is the I-4 Ultimate Construction Program Manager for the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), shared information about the project and explained why improvements were necessary at each interchange.

Desire Shaba, station manager for the Road Transport and Safety Agency in Zambia, was impressed with how the I-4 Ultimate project was planned, organized, and implemented sustainably in a difficult terrain and limited working space.

“It takes planners, designers, and artisans with great minds, skills and a self-motivated team with high level of dedication to bring different components together and to have such a big project become a reality with little disturbance to the environment, motorists and the general public,” Shaba said.

Upon returning to Africa, members of the delegation, who work in areas such as law enforcement, traffic management, safety agencies, and communications, intend to use the information they learned to address traffic safety problems.