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MAY 2016

Several Nighttime Ramp Closures Scheduled

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The I-4 Ultimate project is improving the safety of entrance and exit ramps on Interstate 4 (I-4) by lengthening the ramps.

Construction has begun at a number of ramps throughout the 21-mile corridor. During the month of May, motorists can expect nighttime closures of several I-4 exit and entrance ramps including:

  • The eastbound I-4 entrance ramp from Lee Road is closing nightly from April 3–May 20. The closure is every night from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., except Fridays and Saturdays. The detour for this nightly closure is the Maitland Boulevard (State Road 414) entrance ramp.
  • The eastbound I-4 exit ramp to Lee Road (State Road 423) is closing nightly from May 1–June 1. The closure is every night from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., except Fridays and Saturdays. The detour for this nightly closure is Maitland Boulevard (State Road 414) Exit 90B.
  • The eastbound I-4 exit ramp to South Street is closing nightly from May 15–June 17. The closure is every night from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., except Fridays and Saturdays. The detour for this nightly closure is Kaley Avenue Exit 81BC.
  • The eastbound I-4 exit ramp to Princeton Street is closing nightly from May 15 to June 17. The closure is every night from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., except Fridays and Saturdays. The detour for this nightly closure is Par Street Exit 86.
  • The eastbound I-4 entrance ramp from Orange Blossom Trail (US 17-92/441) is closing nightly from May 25–27 from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. to install barrier wall. The detour for this nightly closure is the Michigan Street entrance ramp.

Modifications or extensions to this schedule may become necessary due to weather delays or other unforeseen conditions. Motorists are advised to maintain a safe speed when driving through the work zone.

For more information about the nightly ramp closures on I-4 visit Sign up to receive I-4 Ultimate construction alerts by email or text at

New System Helps Keep I-4 Work Zones Safe

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In their ongoing efforts to keep travelers moving safely and traffic flowing efficiently on Interstate 4 (I-4), members of the I-4 Ultimate team have installed the state’s first Smart Work Zone system.

It works like this: Using radar devices and a camera, the system monitors traffic speed along a portion of the I-4 Ultimate project. If it detects congestion or a blocked lane, then it automatically sends warnings to three electronic message signs on the roadside. The lighted display boards alert drivers to possible slowdowns ahead.

The setup is designed to help keep motorists and workers safe through an advanced warning system that helps prevent oncoming drivers from rear-ending slower or stopped traffic. That, in turn, lessens the chances of a vehicle careening out of control and striking a worker.

Consisting of five traffic sensors, three electronic display signs and one pole-mounted camera, the mobile system was installed in April and is being used on a trial basis. The camera allows for the monitoring of traffic flow, but it does not record any video or images.

“I started looking at these in 2015,” said David Feise, who is Project Maintenance of Traffic Manager for SGL Constructors – the design-build joint venture for the I-4 Ultimate project. “Right now, we’re doing a 90-day trial. But if it proves to be a benefit, we’ll look at acquiring a more extensive setup.”

Other safety benefits of the system include allowing the remote access of the ongoing data collection and the remote control of the camera. “That means one less person that you have to send out to the field and work on the shoulder of the road near oncoming traffic,” Feise said.

I-4 Ultimate Recognizes Motorcycle Safety Month

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Whether you’re driving on two wheels, four wheels or more, it’s crucial to bear in mind the safety implications of sharing the road.

May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, and the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and those working on the I-4 Ultimate project are reminding motorcyclists and other motorists to be mutually respectful of each other and vigilant in work zones.

All drivers should reduce their distractions and focus on driving, said Donna Werning, senior rider coach with Orlando Harley-Davidson.

Work zones may require an extra level of caution, she noted.

“We only have two wheels to maintain traction. If you’re riding in a construction zone at night it can be hard to see grading in the pavement,” Werning said. “If someone pulls out in front of you, depending on the grooves or how deep the grading is, a sudden stop could take you down.”

Severe weather also poses an additional challenge to motorists, she said.

“One of the most deadly things we see people do is park under an overpass for cover during hard rain,” Werning said. “They should try to exit as soon as possible. If other drivers see the overpass, they might go under it as well, but they might not see the stopped motorcycle. Look for the first off ramp.”

She encourages motorcyclists to be alert and confident with their level of visibility.

“It’s up to the rider to decide which lane they want to drive in,” Werning said. “You have to weigh your risk factors. I don’t want to be in a lane where people are constantly merging. The middle lane is good for visibility, but you could get trapped. This is all up the motorcyclist. We need to be diligent with our scanning behaviors to compensate for distracted drivers.”

Weaving in and out of traffic is not safe, and should be avoided, she noted.

“If I feel trapped by cars, I might want to move and get increased visibility,” Werning said. “But it should be done responsibly.”

Proper gear should be worn, too, she explained.

“Helmet, gloves, long sleeves or jacket, pants, eye protection are all important,” Werning said. “You dress for the fall but hope it never happens.”

In Florida, all motorcyclists must were eye-protection devices, use headlights during the day and have a seat and footrest for a passenger, if applicable.

Florida law does not permit motorcyclists to wear earphones while driving or overtake and pass in the same lane occupied by the vehicle being overtaken.

Helmets are not required for riders over age 21 with a minimum of a $10,000 in medical insurance, but the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration encourages motorcyclists to “ride safely and ride smartly.”

With 558,123 people who own a motorcycle, Florida is second only to California, according to the Department of Motor Vehicles.

The hobby is becoming increasingly popular, Werning said.

“The motorcycling community is growing,” she said. “I’ve traveled most of the country on a motorcycle, and it truly is an experience. You see and feel everything so much more.”

I-4 Ultimate project garners regional industry recognition

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The I-4 Ultimate project earned first place recognition for largest contract to start construction in 2015.

The praise was awarded by the engineering trade magazine ENRSoutheast, a division of Engineering News-Record publications.

Judges examined factors such as project budget, length and number of contractors.

I-4 Ultimate beat out 49 other projects throughout the Southeast. The project’s $2.3 billion budget was more than triple the budget of the next highest one, the I-77 Express Lanes project in Charlotte, NC.

Florida also had the most contracted projects in the Southeast with 31 projects.

The 50 projects are just a small sampling of the region’s economic prosperity, ENRSoutheast said in its news release.

The Southeast’s construction economy is booming, thanks to a strong residential market and a rebounding health care sector, the release stated.

The I-4 Ultimate project’s 21-mile expansion speaks to the region and state’s economic well-being. The project will revamp or construct more than 100 bridges, reconstruct 15 major interchanges and add express lanes throughout the corridor.

The I-4 Ultimate project will transform travel for drivers who comprise the 1.5 million trips via Interstate 4 a day. The entire project is expected to be complete in 2021.

Employee Spotlight: Dea Kramer

Construction Crew Foreman
Resident of Titusville

After 20 years of hard work on heavy machinery, Dea Kramer learned many lessons, but none more vital than this: “A leader is only as good as his or her crew.”

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So when Kramer became the first woman to supervise a construction crew on the I-4 Ultimate project in Area 4, she was proud. But she was even prouder of the teamwork on her crew. “They work hard. We have each other’s backs, and we give each other the respect we deserve.”

Kramer appreciates the welcoming atmosphere she found at SGL Constructors – the design-build joint venture on the 21-mile highway reconstruction project. “I’m not treated like a commodity. I feel like an individual and they treat me as a human being. They saw in me some qualities that others did not.”

Where once she might have felt shunted off to the side in the male-dominated field; today, she can focus on jobs, not genders. “I have an awesome crew. They are go-getters, and they have no problem taking direction from me. They know I know the capacities of the machines and can help train new workers.”

Since joining the project in June 2015, Kramer has worked with pipe crews, as an equipment operator and retaining-wall teams. Earlier in the project, she used an excavator to fill up dump trucks more than 135 times in one day. However, she always has felt at home at the controls of the big machines. “To me, they’re like life-sized video games.”

When she’s not working, Kramer likes to spend time with her two youngsters. And if she’s not four-wheeling or go-cart racing, she likes to saddle up her quarter horse and compete in barrel races.

Her 14-year-old son is accustomed to having a mother who spends her day in construction. However, her four-year-old daughter still likes to point out the roads and structures her mother has worked on and shout, “Mommy built that!”

“It’s a great sense of accomplishment to know you were a part of big project like this,” Kramer said. “And it’s even greater when your children know you did it. I’m looking forward to that day when my children are driving on the new interstate and can say their mom and her crew helped build it.”

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).