I-4 Ultimate Construction Starts 2015

The largest infrastructure project in Florida history is about to break ground.

Construction on I-4 Ultimate is scheduled to begin in early 2015. The project will rebuild 21 miles of I-4 from west of Kirkman Road in Orange County to east of State Road (SR) 434 in Seminole County, add two new dynamic tolled Express Lanes in each direction, replace more than 140 bridges, reconfigure 15 major interchanges, reconstruct the entire existing roadway and increase the posted speed to 55 mph.

The project is expected to be complete in 2021, meaning the backbone of transportation in Central Florida will be under construction for six and a half years.

“This is a very aggressive schedule,” says Loreen Bobo, P.E., I-4 Ultimate Construction Program Manager. “We are designing and constructing 250 lane miles in less than seven years.” By using the public-private partnership mechanism – which is a contractual agreement between a public agency and a private sector proposer or bidder – the Florida Department of Transportation can deliver this project to the public 17 years sooner than traditional funding methods.

As construction ramps up, drivers will see crews overbuilding the roadway’s shoulder, pile driving and relocating utilities. By summertime, major shifts in traffic patterns and phases will occur. Drivers will need to pay attention to signage and are encouraged to visit i4Ultimate.com for the latest construction information. Commuters are encouraged to plan routes ahead of time or apply some new strategies, like carpooling or taking SunRail, to get them where they need to go.

Keeping traffic moving is crucial to the success of this project. The project team is committed to maintaining the same number of lanes that exist today while working to build a better I-4. To ensure that motorists can get where they need to go, lane closures will be limited to mostly nighttime hours, beginning as early as 8:30 p.m. and continuing as late as 7 a.m. Once major construction begins, drivers should expect temporary roadways, bridges and ramps, and continued traffic pattern changes and shifts. Work may also require ramp closures for extended periods. However, successive ramps may not be closed at the same time, and detours will be provided.

Additional project information, including a full list of lane and ramp closures, will be posted on i4Ultimate.com. Now is the time for Central Floridians to sign up for project newsletters and personalized alerts to help make informed decisions about when and where to travel.

People Building a Better I-4:
FDOT District 5 Secretary Noranne Downs, 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. In this month’s installment, FDOT District Five Secretary Noranne Downs, P.E. talks about her excitement in bringing art and engineering together to create a trademark project for Central Florida. She reminds us that science, technology, engineering and math lead to great career opportunities for women.

I-4 Ultimate Holiday Happenings

The first shovel has yet to turn dirt, and I-4 Ultimate is already having a positive effect on Central Florida. Approximately 250 turkeys were donated on Monday, November 24 to needy families in the Parramore community. The inaugural I-4 Ultimate Turkey Giveaway was sponsored by the I-4 Mobility Partners team — the concessionaire responsible for designing, building and financing I-4 Ultimate — and was conducted in coordination with Parramore Kidz Zone (PKZ). This partnership reinforces I-4 Mobility Partners’ mission of connecting communities, improving economies and enhancing livability.

The team also sponsored a holiday toy drive for Parramore’s families, collecting more than 200 toys and more than $500 in gift cards. The toys were handed out on Monday, December 22.

“I-4 Ultimate is not just a project,” said Rodney Renix, I-4 Ultimate Compliance Officer. “It is an opportunity for us to become valued members of the community, and we hope to contribute significantly to Central Florida through volunteer activities and more events like these.”

PKZ is a neighborhood-based coalition aiming to enrich the lives of children and families in the Parramore area. Focusing on initiatives like early childhood education, after-school programs, youth development programs, mentoring and more, PKZ is giving Parramore’s children the tools they need to become successful, healthy and well-educated adults.

Bonding Education Program Wraps Up

After seven weeks of business development training, the U.S. DOT Bonding Education Program came to a close on November 19. Classes were held each Wednesday for two months at the I-4 Ultimate project office in Maitland. A total of 20 Central Florida small businesses completed the program. I-4 Ultimate has a project goal to award 9 percent of the contract dollars to disadvantaged business enterprises (DBE) and an additional 3 percent to non-DBE small businesses. Each company is now bond ready and qualified to work on I-4 Ultimate and other DOT projects in the future. Congratulations to everyone involved in this successful program!