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Maitland Interchange Project Begins

Finished effort will include a beautiful pedestrian bridge

The extensive revamping of the Maitland interchange on Interstate 4 (I-4) has begun, as construction crews work to remove the large dirt mound on the eastbound side of the highway.

The gently rising hill, known humorously as Mount Maitland, had been built years earlier to reinforce the spot after a huge, ancient sinkhole was found during an earlier improvement project. In order to stabilize the area, the construction team pumped grout into the sinkhole. The strong supportive material eventually filled an underground area that was as large as a football field and the equivalent, top to bottom, to the SunTrust Center office tower.

With the ground now stabilized, the mound on top is no longer needed, and its removal signals one of the first highly visible starting points for the I-4 Ultimate project. By the end of the project, commuters should see great improvement in traffic flow around the interchange, as well as a beautiful, curving pedestrian bridge over I-4 that increases safety and visual appeal.

The effort to revamp a 21-mile section of the interstate to address the current and future needs of Central Florida is expected to take six and a half years. However, there are incentives to have the Maitland portion of the project finished in three years.

The dirt from the mound is being piled in a nearby open field. As construction on I-4 Ultimate continues, that excavated dirt will be used to build up the base of the new roadway.

Touring the Future: Lyman High Students Visit Hub Office

Engineering students from Lyman High School had the unique opportunity to visit the I-4 Ultimate hub office on March 23 to see firsthand how scientific principles apply to road construction. Students engaged with project staff on five modules: designing a cost-effective functional structure using bridge design software, learning how to load dirt into a dump truck using the Volvo excavator simulator, understanding the importance of safety, configuring the components of a maintenance of traffic plan and getting up close with a service patrol truck.

“It was definitely a worthwhile experience,” said Melinda Leftheris, MS, Ed.S, the guidance counselor/facilitator for the Lyman Institute for Engineering. The students certainly agreed, enthusiastically competing against one another to engineer an economical yet practical bridge and to load the most material into a dump truck.

“When I was in high school, there was no engineering magnate program,” said I-4 Ultimate Deputy Project Manager and Lyman High School graduate Jennifer Vreeland. “I am excited that these students are being given direction early on and that I can contribute to their perspective on civil engineering.”

The Lyman High Institute for Engineering aims to prepare students in the areas of engineering, math and science before they enter college. Hopefully, experiences like touring the hub office and experiencing civil engineering firsthand will prepare students for the future and what to expect as they continue their paths in the industry.

What to Expect During I-4 Ultimate Construction: Drive Safely


Major changes are coming to I-4. To keep you informed and on the go, this video series explains what drivers can expect to see and experience throughout I-4 Ultimate construction. In this episode, safety is the focus as drivers become accustomed to the new construction zones and traffic shifts.

I-4 Ultimate Dubbed “Deal of the Year”

The I-4 Ultimate project is an award winner! I-4 Ultimate was recently honored by IJGlobal (Infrastructure Journal and Project Finance Magazine) as the “Deal of the Year” in the Transport category. The Americas Awards recognize innovation in financing and infrastructure, as well as the leading firms and institutions in the market.

What helped I-4 Ultimate take home the top prize? It is the largest availability-based public-private partnership (P3) in the United States to date and the largest transportation project in Florida history. The project received the largest Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan on an availability-based P3 project to date and the third largest ever. In addition, I-4 Ultimate was the first bank deal in the United States P3 market since 2010.

“The Deal of the Year award recognizes our team’s ability to innovate in project finance,” said Cesar Souza, chief executive officer of I-4 Mobility Partners. “It is also the result of a successful partnership between Skanska and John Laing; this project represents the eighth public-private partnership transaction between the two firms and the first in North America.”

The team proudly accepted the award at the Americas Awards ceremony, which was held in New York City. More than 550 market professionals attended the ceremony.

I-4 Rest Areas to Get a Makeover

More parking, new buildings, a safer exit ramp and proposed 12-foot barrier walls are some of the improvements travelers will see at the completely reconstructed I-4 rest areas in Seminole County.

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) has preliminary plans to demolish and rebuild the eastbound and westbound rest areas.

The ground of the westbound rest area will be raised to match the level of the new I-4 Ultimate, ensuring maximum safety on the entrance and exit ramps. The ramp leaving the rest area to get onto westbound I-4 will be reconfigured to allow a much longer area for merging traffic.

The eastbound rest area is being rebuilt to accommodate a new Regional Traffic Management Center (RTMC) building, which will also provide space for the Florida Highway Patrol.

Expected to begin December 2015, this project will be designed and built in phases, meaning construction will start before the design is finalized. The project is anticipated to take two years to complete; however, FDOT will only allow the rest areas to be closed for a maximum of 270 days (westbound) and 360 days (eastbound).

For more on the I-4 rest area construction, visit

Public participation is solicited without regard to race, color, national origin, age, sex, religion, disability or family status. Persons who require special accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act or persons who require translation services (free of charge) should contact Jennifer Smith, FDOT Title VI Coordinator by phone at (386) 943-5367, or via email at If you are hearing or speech impaired, please contact us by using the Florida Relay Service, 1-800-955-8771 (TDD) or 1-800-955-8770 (Voice).