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I-4 Ultimate Wins Sustainable Infrastructure Award – first-ever for Sunshine State

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Efforts by the I-4 Ultimate team to recycle, conserve fuel, protect air and water quality, and be as “green” and sustainable as possible were honored recently with a nationally recognized award.

The I-4 Ultimate Project in Central Florida has won the prestigious Envision Platinum award from the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI) for far-reaching efforts to make the 21-mile reconstruction project as environmentally friendly as possible.

The announcement marks the first time a Florida project has been so honored by the ISI, which was founded by three national engineering groups to promote sustainability and to rate infrastructure projects against detailed standards that include environmental, social and economic impacts.

“We are so excited to receive this recognition for the efforts of the entire I-4 Ultimate team to protect the environment from water to wildlife to air quality while creating a signature corridor for the entire region,” said Loreen Bobo, P.E. who is the I-4 Ultimate Construction Program Manager for the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), which oversees the project. “This award shows that sustainability goals are achievable alongside other primary missions of our agency to enhance the economic prosperity and preserve the quality of our environment and communities.”

The public-private partnership that is rebuilding Interstate 4 (I-4) through the center of Orlando earned top honors for programs to minimize environmental impacts, including relocating protected wildlife, using efficient machinery, controlling runoff, removing invasive vegetation, and recycling nearly 100 percent of the concrete and steel removed from roads and bridges. The project also facilitates the use of alternative transportation by integrating with rail projects and improving pedestrian crossings and connections with bike trails.

Several partners constitute the I-4 Ultimate team, which is headed by FDOT. Members of the I-4 Mobility Partners team include the following:

  • Skanska Infrastructure Development (Equity Member)
  • John Laing Investments Limited (Equity Member)
  • SGL Constructors (SGL) — Construction Joint Venture — Skanska (Lead Contractor), Granite Construction Company and the Lane Construction Corporation
  • Design Joint Venture — HDR Engineering, Inc. and Jacobs Engineering Group, Inc. (Lead Engineer)
  • Infrastructure Corporation of America (Lead Operations and Maintenance Firm)

Created in 2012 through a collaboration between ISI and the Zofnass Program for Sustainable Infrastructure at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, the Envision system rates the impact of sustainable infrastructure projects as a whole. The system measures sustainability in five categories: Quality of Life, Leadership, Natural World, Resource Allocation, and Climate and Risk. These key areas contribute to the positive social, economic and environmental impacts on a community.

Open house scheduled for February 9 in Altamonte Springs

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The public is invited to learn more about the I-4 Ultimate project and how it is transforming 21 miles of Interstate 4 during a public information open house scheduled from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday, February 9, at the Hilton Orlando/Altamonte Springs, located at 350 Northlake Blvd.

The public meeting in the Seminole County area of the I-4 Ultimate project is the fifth time the Florida Department of Transportation has hosted open houses for the project. The first four open houses were held in 2015; however, the meeting for Seminole County was delayed until construction began to ramp up in Altamonte Springs and Longwood. The public information meeting is an informal open house. Plans will be available for review and an informative video will be shown.

“We encourage the public to attend this event to learn more about the project, view area maps and displays, and discuss the project with staff,” said Loreen Bobo, P.E., I-4 Ultimate Construction Program Manager.

The project officially launched in February 2015 and expected completion is 2021. The I-4 Ultimate project is rebuilding 21 miles of I-4 from Kirkman Road in Orange County to State Road 434 in Seminole County, adding two new dynamic tolled Express Lanes in each direction, replacing more than 140 bridges, reconfiguring 15 major interchanges and reconstructing the entire existing roadway.

For more information about the I-4 Ultimate project, visit

The Big Machines of I-4 Ultimate:
The Volvo Excavator

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Height: 10.5 feet to the top of the cab

Weight: About 18,500 pounds, or more than 9 tons

Buckets:  As large as six feet wide and nearly five feet deep.

Typical Tasks: Digging trenches for pipes, loading dump trucks and operating hydraulic hammers. Some have the ability to use a bulldozer blade.

The big Volvo excavators working along the 21-mile length of the I-4 Ultimate project may seem like large, lumbering machines to the average commuter passing by.

But to the I-4 Ultimate team, the machines with cab roofs taller than the rim of a basketball goal and lifting arms that reach over 30 feet are actually nimble, utility vehicles. In a toolbox that includes towering cranes and machines that are assembled in place, the excavators are more like power drills with easy-to-change bits and screwdriver heads.

Picked for its safety, efficiency and versatility, the Volvo ECR305CL is something of a quick-change device — with the ability to switch buckets quickly. Other excavators may require workers using wrenches and hammers to remove or attach buckets. But operators of the Volvos use hydraulically powered pins to release one bucket and snap another in place, saving time and personnel.

SGL — the joint venture of Skanska, Granite, Lane — has ordered more than 30 excavators for the project. “Most of these excavators will be on the site until the end of project,” said Phil Picone, who is SGL Project Equipment Manager. “They can perform several tasks and are built to maneuver in tight places.”

For example, the counterweights on these excavators do not protrude over their treads.

That really helps where worksites are tightly confined spaces such as in downtown Orlando. The excavators can also hold hydraulic hammers used to break concrete and disassemble bridges to be replaced.

In addition to specialized buckets for digging trenches or loading dump trucks, an open — or “skeleton,” bucket — lets the excavator pick up large pieces of concrete or steel and then shake out dirt and rocks before loading the material for recycling.

The Volvo excavators are fuel efficient and comply with Tier 4 emissions standards — currently the highest standard set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Picone said. Safety features includes a rearview camera, charts for the operator to check limits on loads and a system that sends operating data to a central monitoring station.

Celebrate Roadside Safety by Remembering to Move Over in January

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What is the easiest and most effective way to help protect law enforcement officers, emergency workers and other public servants while they are performing their duties along Florida’s roadsides? According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV), simply “Move Over, Florida!”

The Florida DHSMV has designated January as Move Over Month to commemorate the state’s Move Over Act of 2002. This important 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 mph below the posted speed limit or slow down to 5 mph when the posted speed limit is 20 mph or less.

In 2014, Move Over violations resulted in more than 160 crashes, 120 serious injuries and multiple deaths on Florida roadways. In addition to endangering law enforcement, first responders, public servants and other motorists, failing to move over can also result in fines and points on a driving record.

To comply with the Move Over Act drivers must be on a:

Multi-Lane Roadway:

  • Move from 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 motorists needed space while they are attempting to merge into the next lane over.

Two-Lane Roadway:

  • 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.

Employee Spotlight: Jason Halliburton

Compliance Officer
Lockhart Area

Employee Spotlight photo “It’s being part of something historic.”

As a compliance officer on the Construction Oversight Services team, Jason Halliburton uses levels and plumb lines to make sure that walls are straight and surfaces smooth — and not just to the naked eye — but to the exacting standards specified by I-4 Ultimate specifications.

Halliburton enjoys the work and is proud to be part of the huge I-4 Ultimate Project that is reconstructing a 21-mile segment of Interstate 4 (I-4) from west of Kirkman Road to east of State Road 434. The scale of the project intrigues him and causes him to stretch his own skills that run from reviewing documents to checking the soundness of interstate structures.

He said it is rewarding to be involved with something so memorable. “It’s being part of something historic,” said Halliburton, who works for New Millennium Engineering. He previously worked on the I-95 express lanes project in South Florida.

He hopes to continue finding projects that are grand in scope and design. One day, he’d like to be part projects similar to the Palm Islands project in Dubai and the Millau Viaduct in France. “It’s kind of dream of mine.”

Halliburton, who was born in Jamaica and grew up in Miami, majored in civil engineering at Florida International University. He got his professional start as a draftsman and plans runner by drawing upon skills learned from some family friends and relatives. His mother is an architect and interior designer.

Halliburton said he enjoys his work and is glad he heeded the advice of a college advisor who told him, “Pick a profession that no matter where you are, you are needed.”

He’s hoping that strategy will continue to lead him to other exciting jobs after completing the I-4 Ultimate project. In the meantime, he still enjoys riding his bicycle and racing his motorcycle in his spare time.

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).