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October 2017

Construction Ramps Up in Altamonte Springs

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I-4 Ultimate construction is undertaking multiple construction activities this month in Altamonte Springs beginning with girder placement for the reconstructed Central Parkway overpass.

Two lanes in both directions of Interstate 4 (I-4) between State Roads (S.R.) 436 and S.R. 434 are closing nightly for nearly one week starting the night of Sunday, October 22.

The closures will alternate each night beginning Sunday evening with the westbound lanes. The westbound I-4 lane closures will begin at 8:30 p.m. and conclude at 6 a.m. while the eastbound I-4 lane closures will begin at 9:30 p.m. and conclude at 7 a.m.

In conjunction with these alternating closures, rolling roadblocks will occur on Sunday and Monday nights on westbound and eastbound I-4, respectively. The rolling roadblocks may occur any time between 12 a.m. and 5 a.m. to provide a 30-minute window for girder placement. Westbound and eastbound I-4 entrance ramps will be temporarily blocked. As the rolling roadblock passes each interchange, law enforcement officers will reopen its entrance ramp. In total, seven eastbound and two westbound I-4 entrance ramps will be closed during the operations.

Other significant construction activity occurring near Altamonte Springs:

  • Motorists should expect closures the weekend of October 20 on the westbound lanes of Central Parkway, east of the Douglas Avenue intersection, and on the northbound lanes of Douglas Avenue, north of the Central Parkway intersection. The continuous weekend closures will end at 6 a.m. on Monday, October 23. Beginning Monday night and continuing until Thursday morning, these closures of Central Parkway and Douglas Avenue will occur nightly from 8 p.m. until 6 a.m. A Detour Map for these closures is available to view or download.
  • Motorists should also expect closures the weekend of October 27 at Douglas Avenue near S.R. 436 and Wymore Road near Westmonte Drive. The continuous weekend closures will begin at 8 p.m. on Friday, October 27 and end at 6 a.m. on Monday, October 30. A Detour Map for these closures is available to view or download.

Work Begins on Kirkman Road Pedestrian Bridge

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The I-4 Ultimate team has started building a pedestrian bridge to span Kirkman Road (State Road 435) that will increase mobility for walkers, bicyclists and drivers in the heavily traveled corridor.

When completed in 2018, the pedestrian bridge will span Kirkman Road just north of the intersection with Major Boulevard. The new bridge will make it much easier and safer for residents and visitors to walk or bike between the east side of Kirkman Road, where many hotels and businesses are located, to the Universal Orlando area on the west side.

Crossing Kirkman Road on foot is currently a challenge because the street-level pedestrian crosswalk stretches across nine lanes of traffic. The new bridge not only will make it safer for people and vehicles in the area, but it also will reduce the number of times traffic on busy Kirkman Road must come to halt to allow pedestrians to walk across 140 feet of traffic lanes – nearly half the length of a football field.

In September, crews started preparing the area for the eventual placement of support piers and entrance ramps by driving piles into the ground before pouring concrete foundations. The 186-foot-long bridge will be fully assembled before hoisting it onto the supporting structures.

“The bridge spanning Kirkman Road will be a steel-truss structure that will be fully preassembled on the ground and then lifted onto the support piers by a crane in a single overnight operation,” said Roger Miller, P.E., who is Senior Transportation Engineer for RS&H, Inc. and part of the I-4 Ultimate team.

The pedestrian bridge is 14 feet wide with a walking surface that varies from 8 to 10.5 feet across. Planners are finalizing ideas for the decorative and aesthetic features of the bridge. In addition, sidewalks in the area near the bridge also are being improved as part of the project.

Although the bridge does not cross Interstate 4, the pedestrian bridge serves the overall goal of the I-4 Ultimate project to improve mobility and safety throughout the 21-mile corridor.

Look Ahead at I-4 Ultimate Improvements in Altamonte Springs

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State Road (S.R.) 436 serves as a major artery connecting retail spaces and residences throughout Altamonte Springs, and the I-4 Ultimate project aims to improve safety and traffic flow in the area.

One of its hallmark features will be the transformation of the S.R. 436 interchange into a single-point urban interchange (SPUI). A SPUI allows opposing left turns to proceed simultaneously in one single intersection over a free-flowing road, such as Interstate 4 (I-4). These configurations often are used to efficiently manage a high volume of traffic in dense urban environments.

I-4 Ultimate improvements in Altamonte Springs also will create direct access ramps to westbound I-4 and from eastbound I-4 Express Lanes at a new Central Parkway overpass.

Left turns to and from Douglas Avenue and Wymore Road will be eliminated along with the traffic signal at S.R. 436. The changes will help to promote traffic flow through the interchange. To accommodate motorists who previously would travel through that intersection, Westmonte Drive will be improved with additional turn lanes at S.R. 436 to handle the additional capacity. Right in and right out access for motorists will be maintained at Douglas Avenue and Wymore Road.

Pedestrians and bicyclists will benefit from the improvements at the interchange, too. Pedestrian access will be maintained via a tunnel underneath S.R. 436 between Wymore Road and I-4.

To view or download a handout detailing the improvements at S.R. 436 and the nearby roadways, please visit:

Team Helps Celebrate Birthday of I-4 Ultimate’s Biggest Fan

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He’ll have to wait nine more years before he can drive on any highway, but a 7-year-old named Cayden is so fascinated by the I-4 Ultimate project that he keeps asking his parents, “Are we going on I-4?”

The boy seeks out road construction the way other kids plead for amusement parks or ice cream cones. Indeed, Cayden’s amused dad calls his inquisitive youngster I-4 Ultimate’s “biggest fan.”

In an email, Cayden's Dad explained, “As we ride, he studies and notices the improvements: the freshly painted lines, the shifting lanes, the new entrance/exit ramps. He notices where the ‘working men’ are at and what vehicles they are using on any given day. For him, a ride through the traffic on I-4 is nothing short of an adventure.”

As Cayden’s birthday approached, his Dad contacted the I-4 Ultimate team through the project’s website to share his son’s enthusiasm.

This will be your email of the day. I am sure you hear lots of whining, griping, and complaining about delays, construction and changing lanes – this is not that letter! I have a little boy who absolutely loves the I-4 Ultimate Project. He always asks, “Are we going on I-4?”

... He is such a fan that his 7th birthday happens in September. We asked him what theme he wanted for his birthday party this year and without hesitation he said, “Ultimate I-4 party!”

We will be having an Ultimate I-4 Birthday Party to celebrate my son's (Cayden) 7th birthday. He has to be your biggest fan. So the next time you hear the complaints, remember you have a young fan out there, who doesn't mind the work and journey it takes on the road to improvement. He enjoys and appreciates every minute of it!

In addition to providing logos, the team decided to celebrate with and educate the young fan and his guests. Team members from SGL — the joint venture of Skanska, Granite and Lane on the I-4 Ultimate project — brought giveaways such as backpacks, magnets and one very special hard hat that was a big hit. But just imagine the youngster’s surprise when seven members of the I-4 Ultimate team arrived with a Road Ranger, emergency response truck and a maintenance of traffic truck known as the Scorpion.

Cayden’s parents had created a little roadway track complete with traffic signs and kid-sized vehicles for the party. His mom and dad also had a cake with the I-4 Ultimate logo in the icing, cupcakes with road signs, and shirts and banners.

Although the I-4 Ultimate team keeps a demanding schedule, members agreed it was fun to spend part of one Sunday helping a small fan with a big curiosity. In a thank-you email, Cayden’s Dad shared that their goodnight hug included a whisper, “Best day ever.”

Outreach Tools Help Alert Communities to Upcoming Roadway Changes

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Roadway changes are ever-present on the 21-mile I-4 Ultimate Improvement Project.

From lane closures in the middle of the night to intricate traffic switches, motorists must remain attentive when driving through the construction zones around Interstate 4 (I-4).

The I-4 Ultimate Project has several avenues for motorists to learn about upcoming changes on the roadway:

  • Sign up for the I-4 Ultimate Advance Construction Alert System — Receive text or email alerts about lane, ramp or road closures. Users can filter the alerts they receive by geography (i.e. between two interchanges) and frequency of alerts (hourly, daily or weekly). The same filters are available on an interactive list on the website.
  • Follow @i4Ultimate on Twitter — See weekly closures and detours planned on the corridor.
  • Subscribe to I-4 Ultimate’s YouTube channel — Watch weekly construction update videos.
  • Subscribe to I-4 Ultimate newsletter — Learn about upcoming major construction activities through the project’s newsletter. Or, subscribe directly to the website’s newsfeed to receive an email when news is posted online.

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and its partners are also actively pushing information out to communities. For example, in advance of the westbound Maitland Boulevard traffic shift last month, FDOT created more than 2.5 million touchpoints by using social media, hosting media to the construction site and actively reaching out to the community.

The outreach efforts for the traffic shift began in late September, as 50 representatives from large employers and property managers attended presentations at the RDV Sportsplex. The meetings were part of a concerted approach to notify Maitland motorists about significant changes to their commute. Neighborhood outreach and informational displays at nearby businesses also bolstered awareness for the upcoming changes.

I-4 Ultimate representatives are constantly creating and booking custom presentations tailored to detail specific improvements. Employers, civic groups and other groups curious about how the I-4 Ultimate project will affect their commute are welcome to host an I-4 Ultimate speaker.

Are you interested in hosting a speaker with a customized presentation? Request a presentation at:

Spotlight Employee: Shelley Gisclar

Shelley Gisclar
Area 2 Coordination Engineer

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Shelley Gisclar began working on the I-4 Ultimate project in the very beginning, which was about 20 years ago. In 1997, she worked as a geotechnical engineer on the Project Development and Environment (PD&E) study, which is the first look at alternatives for improving the corridor.

Now she works as the Area 2 Coordination Engineer for SGL — the joint venture of Skanska, Granite and Lane — on the I-4 Ultimate project. Area 2 is the segment of the project that spans downtown Orlando from Orange Blossom Trail (U.S. 411/17-92) to Colonial Drive (State Road 50). The Area 2 Coordination Engineer role was created specifically for this area because of its unique needs.

“There is so much interaction with the businesses, residential areas and local government,” Gisclar said.

Her job is to coordinate the construction activities, such as detours and road closures, with those stakeholders. If there are conflicts with the needs of the construction team and local businesses or government, then she finds the best solution. She is also involved with pile driving, vibration monitoring and noise monitoring.

She works long days, but when she isn’t working; she helps to take care of her mother and takes a ceramic class with her daughter. She is also an animal lover and loves spending time with her dog.

Gisclar really enjoys working on the I-4 Ultimate project. “It’s just so complicated and massive and such an exciting job,” she said. “There is nothing like it in Florida. Nothing has the complexity of this job.”

She described what it’s like working on a project this intricate. “It’s like trying to operate on someone who is wide-awake,” she said. “We’re trying to do all of this work while the public doesn't feel any pain.” There are still disruptions, but her job is to make the impact on the public as minimal as possible, while still getting construction completed on time.

“When it’s done, I will really be proud to say I was a part of this.”

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).