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Exit ramps to Kaley Avenue from westbound I-4 are closing

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Two exit ramps to Kaley Avenue from westbound Interstate 4 (I-4) will close permanently as the I-4 Ultimate project begins construction on combining the Michigan Street and Kaley Avenue interchanges.

The exits ramp from westbound I-4 to eastbound (81B) and westbound (81C) Kaley Avenue are scheduled to close at 10 p.m. on Tuesday, December 1. The alternate route is exit 81A at Michigan Street.

“The Kaley exit ramps are being redesigned so the Michigan Street and Kaley Avenue interchanges work together,” said Loreen Bobo, P.E., I-4 Ultimate Construction Manager. “When completed, the I-4 Ultimate project will combine the two interchanges with braided ramps, frontage roads and free-flowing Texas U-turns to improve safety and enhance mobility.”

The Florida Department of Transportation is coordinating with the City of Orlando to ensure community members and business owners are aware of the upcoming ramp closures. The project team has sent out more than 4,000 informational mailers to remind residents and businesses of the ramp closures. In addition to detour signs and variable message boards in the area, information on the Kaley Avenue ramp closures is included weekly construction alerts sent to more than 7,500 motorists who have signed up for the service online.

For more information about I-4 interchanges at Michigan Street and Kaley Avenue, visit Sign up for I-4 Construction Updates and Alerts at

Two road closures under S.R. 408

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As part of the I-4 Ultimate project, sections of State Road (S.R.) 408 need to be widened to allow for the construction of Interstate 4 (I‑4) ramps.Workers recently completed preliminary bridge construction work at the S.R. 408 overpasses at Westmoreland Drive and Tampa Avenue. This month the work is moving to the overpasses at Orange Blossom Trail and Parramore Avenue. Temporary road closures are necessary for the bridge work.

Orange Blossom Trail under S.R. 408

Closures on Orange Blossom Trail, under S.R. 408, began on the night of November 8. The nightly closure from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. continues until February 5, 2016. The closure will not occur on Friday nights, any time on Saturday or during the day on Sundays. Access to S.R. 408 ramps at the Orange Blossom Trail interchange will remain open.

Parramore Avenue under S.R. 408

Closures on Parramore Avenue, under S.R. 408, begin Monday, November 30. The daytime closure begins at 7 a.m. and continues until 5 p.m. The closure will continue each weekday until March 4, 2016. The closure will not occur on Saturdays or Sundays.

To stay up to date on all lane, ramp and road closures, sign up for the I-4 Ultimate weekly construction alerts.

Adding a Dash of Design to I-4 Ultimate Structures

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They go by the plain and technical name of mechanically stabilized earth walls, or MSEs. Although often overlooked by travelers, these walls perform the essential work of strengthening the foundations on which roadways and interstate structures stand.

Yet the I-4 Ultimate team is finding ways to turn these plain structures into decorative features to improve the overall look of the reconstructed highway.

Consisting of thousands of interlocking, one-ton concrete panels and attached support straps, the walls are just one part of the massive I-4 Ultimate project that will rebuild a 21-mile stretch of Interstate 4 to improve safety and mobility.

The team has found that simple designs and a light splash of color will add some nice visual effects to the highway structures that hold layers of earthen foundation in place. “In the end, everyone should be happy with this final product,” said Chris Dubois, SGL Project Manager for Area 3 of the I-4 Ultimate project. “It should be more aesthetically pleasing, too.”

As each row of concrete panels fits into place alongside the interstate, workers and heavy machinery pack sand in behind the panels and on top of supporting straps that help to hold walls upright. The walls allow the land behind them to be built up, which becomes part of the elevated roadway.

One of the first places to see these walls is around New Hampshire Street in the College Park area of Orlando. The walls will feature shades of brown and sand – nothing flashy, but enough to make a difference. In addition to the new walls, the new overpass bridge at New Hampshire Street will feature four tall pylons bearing the City of Orlando’s seal.

“It will give it a cleaner, smoother look,” Dubois said.

Complexity of I-4 Ultimate Project Draws Interest of Nigerian Engineers

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The 21-mile major reconstruction of Interstate 4 (I-4), known as the I-4 Ultimate project, is not only a pathway to Central Florida’s motoring future, it also is a model for Nigerian engineers determined to get a fix on traffic congestion in their capital city of Abuja.

More than 20 engineers from Nigeria spent November 2 talking with the I-4 Ultimate team about various aspects of the project from quality control to building on sandy soil to international financing. They also toured worksites to gather information and ideas on how to create projects to deal with increasing gridlock in their nation’s capital.

“We are looking at how to handle all the challenges of transportation,” said Ben-Osy Okoh, vice chairperson of the Nigerian Institution of Civil Engineers in Abuja. “I-4 Ultimate is a wonderful, difficult project. There are many very big lessons that we can draw from it and take home with us.”

The group of engineers included those currently working on public projects, college professors and transportation officials, who come from a wide variety of engineering backgrounds in Nigeria. Yet they all agreed on one thing: Traffic is very troublesome, even overwhelming, in the large cities of Lagos and Abuja.

Those in the group wanted to know more about how to attract international investors, break up a huge project into smaller parts, audit the work and finances, and how to see it as a 30- to 40-year payment cycle.

“The I-4 project is a very important project and we want to see how we can adapt the processes to our needs,” said Beloved-Dan Anike, a former transportation commissioner in Nigeria.

While I-4 has its frustrations for some commuters on given days, Anike compared it to the gridlock back home. He said he would be willing to trade any day. “You have loose traffic here. We have very compact traffic.”

Employee Spotlight: Brian Seecharan

The I-4 Ultimate team is a collection of amazing men and women working to make the vision of this transformative project a reality. Our neighbors, family members and friends on the project are “Building a Better I-4” through hard work and determination. The I-4 Ultimate project is excited to introduce you to a valuable member of the team each month:

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Area 3 Project Engineer
Resident of DeBary

Q. What attracted you to working on the I-4 Ultimate project?
A. I read about this project on the FDOT website and was intrigued by the magnitude and duration of the job. I was approached by a recruiter to be a part of this project. The most important reason for me to be a part of this historic project is that it gave me the opportunity to have a part in building my community.

Q. What do you like about your job?
A. This job is unique from every other job I have worked on. It is challenging, innovative and also very exciting. Some of the things I have learned in my short time here is that the safety of the workers are of utmost importance. The training I received from Skanska has expanded my knowledge on construction practices and also augmented my managerial skills.

Q. Tell us about yourself?
A. I like to go to the movies, play golf, walk, and meet people of other cultures while traveling.

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).