I-4 Bridge Construction Causes Downtown Road Closures
Bridge construction continues in downtown Orlando as a series of intermittent, road closures will afford crews the opportunity to make progress on Interstate 4 (I-4) bridges stretching from Church Street to Washington Street.
Closures on Washington Street, Central Boulevard and Pine Street will occur between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., beginning each week on Sunday evening and ending on Friday morning. In addition, motorists and pedestrians should expect daytime closures of Church Street, under I-4, between 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday-Friday.
- Church Street — Intermittent daytime closure for pedestrian and motorist access until January 22. See detour
- Pine Street — Intermittent nighttime closure for pedestrian and motorist access until March 4. See detour
- Central Boulevard — Intermittent nighttime closure for pedestrian and motorist access until March 4. See detour
- Washington Street — Intermittent nighttime closure for pedestrian and motorist access until January 31.
To stay up to date on all lane, ramp and road closures, sign up to receive I-4 Ultimate Advanced Construction Alerts by text or email.
Intermittent Closures of Parking Under I-4
Bridge construction in downtown Orlando will call for a series of parking closures.
Motorists can expect intermittent, weekly closures of several parking rows in lots under Interstate 4 (I-4). Parking lots affected include the Robinson Street lot, City Lot 10 and City Lot 9 North.
“Parking is available in these lots, just be mindful that several rows may be closed at one time to allow for bridge construction,” said David Parks, Public Information Officer for the I-4 Ultimate project.
City Lot 9 South remains closed for construction activities. The Garland parking lot at the corner of Pine Street and Garland Avenue is open with no temporary closures. View other downtown parking options available from the City of Orlando at http://www.cityoforlando.net/parking/downtown-parking-locations.
Ultimate Giving: Angels of I-4
The I-4 Ultimate team reached out to those in need during the holiday season by sponsoring angel trees for youngsters and donating food for families.
The widespread generosity came from many corners of the team that is reconstructing 21 miles of Interstate 4 (I-4). Team members participated in special events at a school, so that elementary students and their families could enjoy a meal and spend time together.
SGL Constructors, the design-build joint venture for the I-4 Ultimate Project, led an Angel Tree Program that collected nearly 400 gifts. The wrapped presents went to 140 less fortunate children at four schools within the I-4 Ultimate project area. The gifts came from all four area offices and from the main office, which houses the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), HNTB, Volkert, Jacobs and HDR. After collection, SGL volunteers delivered them to the schools.
School administrators at Killarney Elementary, Hungerford Elementary, Catalina Elementary and Pineloch Elementary chose the students for the angel program. Each student wrote on a paper angel the three items they wanted from Santa. I-4 Ultimate teammates responded with hundreds of gifts, including bikes, clothes, sneakers, games and dolls.
For Thanksgiving, SGL Constructors and their partners, I-4 Mobility Partners, HDR, Jacobs, HNTB, Volkert, and volunteers from FDOT, collected non-perishable food items for needy families whose children attend Killarney Elementary.
SGL team members delivered three truckloads of food to the Killarney Elementary food pantry. The pantry is an essential part of the school’s resources, providing weekend food packages to those students in need.
Members of the I-4 Ultimate team also assisted at Killarney’s Thanksgiving student presentation and dinner. They helped set up, greet and sign in guests, helping to make the night special for the students and their parents.
Updating Electronic Maps to Navigate I-4
The intricate work of the I-4 Ultimate project requires closing ramps and moving lanes. It also means keeping the public informed of the changes that ultimately will increase safety and mobility.
Advanced construction alerts are available via text and email by signing up at i4ultimate.com/alerts. The alerts also signal companies that produce electronic maps for cars and trucks, warning that maps and databases may need updating.
Among the busiest electronic mappers in Central Florida are the people at HERE. The group was formerly owned by Nokia and is now part of a consortium of automakers – AUDI AG, BMW Group and Daimler AG. HERE powers and updates the maps on in-dash navigation screens. HERE also supports many smartphones as well as companies such as FedEx, Garmin, OnStar and the Federal Highway Administration.
“HERE is behind the screen in a lot of applications and products,” said Chris Hardin, Geographic Analyst, who keeps up with developments on and alongside I-4 for HERE.
Because the company needs precise maps, Hardin or others on the HERE team often find themselves driving the newly changed roads to get a firsthand feel for the modifications. If a significant lane shift appears, they will note it in the database even though the basic route has not changed.
Trips to confirm changed roads often include a special “field collection” car. Furnished with a 360-degree camera, video capture, GPS, and laser-based radar, the equipment captures the exact look and boundaries of changing road patterns that are transformed into electronic maps and 3D applications.
Such precision mapping will also gain importance with the advent of self-driving cars and vehicles that can communicate with each other.
Employee Spotlight: Tony Hart
Resident of Kissimmee
Even with 14 years of construction work behind him, Tony Hart knows he’s building valuable experience in everything from budgeting to scheduling to keeping field operations moving smoothly as a member of the I-4 Ultimate team.
Hart is an Area 3 Drainage Engineer on the I-4 Ultimate project — a massive makeover dedicated to improving safety and mobility on the busy interstate. The 21-mile-long project requires a special mix of experts and veterans from many different companies, so Hart has been intrigued to see how others on the team approach and solve problems.
For example, he recently learned that some residential areas objected to the construction of new retaining ponds to handle stormwater from the highway, so the I-4 team is building holding areas underground. That requires installing 7-foot-wide pipes to let runoff water collect before being filtered.
“Those are definitely fascinating. I am always learning something new,” said Hart, who lives in Kissimmee.
But it’s not all one way, as another I-4 Ultimate teammate observed. Hart often explains procedures to others at work, imparting his own knowledge.
“It’s challenging every day, but I feel fortunate to learn from experienced people from all over the southeast. The things I learn here I will be able to apply later,” said Hart, who was born and raised in Savannah, Ga., and has a degree in civil engineering technology from Florida A&M University (FAMU).
When he’s not working, Hart likes to spend time with his family and watch sports. The former walk-on football player at FAMU enjoys coaching his two sons in youth football. He and his wife, Kristy, who is a nurse, also have a baby daughter.
“Some days are stressful,” Hart said. “But to be around kids who are running around laughing and without a care is very refreshing.”
January Is ‘Move Over’ Month
For the month of January, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) is commemorating Move Over month by reminding all motorists to “Move Over, Florida!” for emergency and service vehicles stopped along the roadway.
Move Over violations result in more than 100 crashes per year on Florida roadways, putting motorists and those who work along the roadways at risk. From 2012 to 2014, crashes increased 41 percent and citations increased 68 percent for motorists failing to move over. In addition to endangering law enforcement, first responders, public servants and other motorists, failing to move over can result in fines and points on a driving record.
“The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles stresses to each driver the importance of complying with the Move Over Act,” said DHSMV Executive Director Terry L. Rhodes. “Move Over, Florida! The simple act of moving over for law enforcement, emergency first responders and other stopped or disabled vehicles gives these public servants adequate space to do their jobs and can greatly increase safety on Florida’s roadways.”
The Move Over Act was enacted in 2002 to help protect law enforcement officers, emergency workers and other public servants when they are performing their duties along the roadside. State law requires vehicles to move over a lane for emergency vehicles, sanitation vehicles, utility service vehicles or wreckers. If a driver cannot move over, they should slow down 20 miles per hour below the posted speed limit.
To comply with the Move Over Act drivers must:
- Vacate the lane closest to the stationary emergency vehicle, sanitation vehicle, utility service vehicle or wrecker and always signal the intention to change lanes.
- Slow down to a speed of 20 mph below the posted speed limit if a driver cannot move over safely.
- Be prepared to allow those who are attempting to move over into the next lane.
- Slow down to a speed of 20 mph below the posted speed limit.
- Travel at 5 mph if the speed limit is 20 mph or less.
Florida Department of Transportation Secretary Jim Boxold said, “With nearly 20 million residents and a record number of tourists coming to our state, the department is proud to partner with the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles to remind drivers to move over and slow down when they approach a service vehicle on the road. This helps us protect Florida’s first responders and keep our roadways safe for all users.”
Move Over, Florida! It’s not just the safe thing to do, it’s the law.