I-4 Ultimate Project Reaches Commercial and Financial Close

The I-4 Ultimate project is one step closer to transforming Central Florida, with commercial and financial close occurring on Sept. 4, 2014. The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and I-4 Mobility Partners executed a public-private partnership (P3) concession agreement for the design, construction, financing, maintenance and operation of the project for 40 years.

FDOT Secretary Ananth Prasad said, “This is a monumental milestone for one of the most congested corridors of the state, which draws millions of tourists and is an important mid-point in Florida for commerce and commuters. The project gives us the opportunity to show how a successful public-private partnership works, through construction and beyond, benefitting those who count on great infrastructure, which feeds a robust economy.”

Through the P3 delivery model, I-4 Mobility Partners was able to provide significant technical enhancements, including direct connections from the Express Lanes to State Road 408, additional auxiliary lanes and an additional pedestrian bridge over I-4 at Maitland Boulevard. These enhancements offer added value as compared to FDOT’s base scope requirements while still staying below FDOT’s affordability limit. An additional benefit of the P3 approach is the ability to combine and accelerate the construction of large complex projects, like I-4 Ultimate, to advance the project’s benefits to the public much sooner than traditional methods. In fact, I-4 Ultimate will be built 17 years sooner than possible with traditional funding methods!

FDOT and I-4 Mobility Partners have worked expeditiously to reach financial close with lenders, which include a consortium of six commercial banks and the Federal Highway Administration through the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) credit assistance program. This approach has allowed FDOT to benefit from the low interest rate environment – resulting in a $68.7 million (net present value in 2014 dollars) decrease when compared to I-4 Mobility Partners’ financial proposal. I-4 Mobility Partners has invested $104 million in the project, and commercial banks and TIFIA are lending $486 million and $949 million, respectively, to the project.

Cesar Souza, chief executive officer of I-4 Mobility Partners, said, “I-4 Mobility Partners is extremely proud to invest in and deliver this signature corridor project, which is designed to reflect the needs of the communities it serves. The public will experience safety improvements and modernization of the corridor and its many interchanges. Furthermore, the project will make a significant impact to the local economy through the substantial involvement of local, small and disadvantaged business enterprises.”

More great things are in the works for I-4 Ultimate, with the design phase beginning in fall 2014 and construction anticipated to start in early 2015. Visit the project’s website, I4Ultimate.com, to stay up to date on all the latest project news – from closure updates and details about construction activities to how to contact the project team and employment opportunities.

People Building a Better I-4:
Florida Department of Transportation District Five Director of Transportation Development Frank O’Dea, P.E.

I-4 Ultimate will create thousands of jobs in Central Florida. This video series explores the wide variety of people and expertise needed to build a better I-4. Frank O’Dea, P.E., the District Director of Transportation Development for FDOT, describes how his innate curiosity and adventurous spirit have influenced his career. Frank called upon those traits bringing I-4 Ultimate from concept to reality.

FDOT Unveils I4Ultimate.com

Florida residents now have a brand-new, interactive website for all the facts about the FDOT I-4 Ultimate project. FDOT designed I4Ultimate.com to serve as the new official source for anything and everything I-4 Ultimate. Website visitors will find not only information relating to the project, including details about construction, special features and Express Lanes, but also how to steer clear of the orange barrels, detours and construction workers. If you’re looking for ways to avoid I-4, discover alternate commuter options like reThink, SunRail and LYNX.

I4Ultimate.com is the go-to resource for motorists in Central Florida, featuring Florida 511’s real-time traffic updates, I-4 lane closure and detour notices and the option to sign up for personalized alerts. Want a sneak peek at the Sunshine State’s newest signature corridor? Photo and video renderings of what Central Florida will soon come to know as the new-and-improved backbone of transportation can be found on the interactive map. View the 21-mile transformation interchange by interchange at I4Ultimate.com/Project-Info/Future-I-4.