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November 2017

I-4 Ultimate Construction Closures Suspended for the Holidays

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To help ease traffic congestion during busy holiday travel, planned construction closures along the I-4 Ultimate project will be suspended.

All lane and ramp closures on Interstate 4 (I-4) over the Thanksgiving travel period will be suspended between Wednesday, November 22, and Sunday, November 26, minimizing potential traffic delays for motorists during the holiday travel season.

While all lanes of I-4 will remain open to accommodate expected additional traffic during the holiday, some crews will be out working along the project. Motorists need to continue to drive responsibly through the work zone.

Drivers can visit to learn more about planned closures and sign up to receive personalized email and text alerts to stay informed.

New WB I-4 Exit Ramp to Michigan Street Coming Next Month

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This aerial photo taken last month shows the nearly completed WB I-4 exit ramp to Michigan Street.

In November, the I-4 Ultimate project saw great construction progress in downtown Orlando. That same momentum is expected to continue through the month of December.

The westbound Interstate 4 (I-4) exit ramp to Michigan Street (exit 81A) will shift in early December. Motorists will have to make their decision to exit one mile sooner during their drive.

Traffic will exit westbound I-4 via a new lengthened ramp on the right. The ramp is connected to the existing westbound I-4 entrance ramp from Gore Street and State Road 408.

Motorists seeking to enter westbound I-4 will prepare to merge with traffic to avoid continuing on the ramp to Michigan Street. The westbound I-4 entrance ramp from Kaley Avenue is unaffected by this ramp shift. The ramp structure to Michigan Street is a permanent structure, and the shift is to help accommodate construction on westbound I-4. To discourage weaving on westbound I-4, the exit ramp to southbound Kirkman Road (exit 75B) joined with the exit ramp to northbound Kirkman Road (exit 75A) on the right side.

Bridge over Ivanhoe Boulevard Takes Shape

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A new eastbound Interstate 4 (I-4) bridge over Ivanhoe Boulevard is nearly complete thanks in part to some complicated nighttime construction.

During the night of October 30, I-4 Ultimate workers from Area 3 of the project successfully completed a continuous pour of 450 cubic yards of concrete onto the new bridge deck. The 21-mile I-4 Ultimate project includes four construction areas. Area 3 runs from Ivanhoe Boulevard to just before Maitland Boulevard.

The eastbound I-4 bridge over Ivanhoe Boulevard is the longest span in Area 3. The slightly curving bridge also contains one of the longest concrete girders in the state. The outside girder holding up the bridge deck is more than 200 feet long. Two 300-ton cranes were required to pick up the massive beam and set it into place.

The concrete pour began at 8:30 p.m. Timing was critical for success during the five-hour operation. Crews must correctly position the concrete pumper trucks so the long boom on each truck can reach every area of the bridge deck.

As concrete trucks begin to feed the pumper trucks, crews atop the bridge deck evenly distribute concrete across the deck. Crews work to load the concrete on the bridge deck about 50 feet ahead of the Bid-Well – a huge smoothing machine. This massive yellow machine stretches across the bridge deck. It can weigh more than 10,000 pounds and may take two days to assemble and test on the bridges. The apparatus includes augers and drum rollers attached to an overhead truss, which moves ahead slowly to flatten out the 8-inch-deep, wet concrete.

The I-4 Ultimate project is revamping, reconstructing or building anew more than 140 bridges. Each brings its own set of challenges. For the bridge extending over Ivanhoe Boulevard, the biggest issue for project engineers was constructing the new eastbound I-4 bridge when the existing eastbound I-4 lanes were in the way.

Next time you are driving eastbound I-4 approaching Lake Ivanhoe, take a quick look at the new bridge. It is on your right and about 10 feet higher than the current travel lanes. You will notice a couple girders still need to be set before the new eastbound I-4 bridge deck over Ivanhoe Boulevard is complete. A traffic shift on eastbound I-4 in 2018 will open a new work zone so workers can finish the remaining portion of the bridge.  

Redesigned Kirkman Road (State Road 435) Interchange Transforms Attractions Area

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Tourists and local visitors flock to the attractions and resorts near the interchange of Interstate 4 (I-4) and Kirkman Road (State Road 435). But that success can create traffic problems.

As part of the I-4 Ultimate project, the interchange is being carefully reimagined to alleviate congestion and safely guide motorists to their desired destination.

Both I-4 and Kirkman Road will be realigned and straightened out for improved safety and mobility. Increased access to both directions of I-4 will be added via new ramps at the interchange.

To discourage weaving on westbound I-4, the exit ramp to southbound Kirkman Road joined with the exit ramp to northbound Kirkman Road on the right side.

The eastbound I-4 exit ramp to northbound Kirkman Road also is being lengthened and relocated from a left-side exit to a right side. An exit to southbound Kirkman Road also will be added from eastbound I-4.

An entrance ramp to eastbound I-4 from southbound Kirkman Road will loop from southbound Kirkman Road.

Existing ramps at the interchange will be lengthened and realigned.

The new Grand National overpass, which opened earlier this year, spans I-4 and connects Major Boulevard and the International Drive area. New lanes also were added to accommodate the overpass. At the project’s completion, the Grand National overpass will have direct access to and from the Express Lanes.

A pedestrian bridge will be added over Kirkman Road at the Major Boulevard intersection, improving safety and connecting Universal Orlando to the hotels.

The interchange is scheduled to be completed in 2019 as a bonus work element.

Spotlight Employee: David Feise

David Feise
Project Maintenance of Traffic Manager

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David Feise studied business administration in college and then went on to hold several management positions. But it was while working for an automotive company in 2004 that he landed his first job in construction with Bob’s Barricades. He loved it.

“There are some similarities in management of automotive and construction, but in construction the challenges are much greater,” Feise said. “The consequences are also greater, but then so are the rewards.”

Feise has always been mechanically inclined and enjoys working as the Project MOT Manager because he likes seeing the bigger picture. “I’m very interested in seeing how things come together and work together,” he said. “So being involved with the flow of traffic was kind of fitting. I also enjoy looking at the different phases of the project and seeing how they fit together.”

He has been the Project MOT Manager since September 2014. In this position, he is responsible for managing the department who maintains, installs and removes all MOT devices, concrete barrier walls, roadway striping, roadway sweeping, and drainage cleaning during construction for the entire 21-mile project. These devices control traffic during detours, lane closures and flagging operations for motorist to safely navigate the work zone. Feise is also an instructor for American Traffic Safety Services Association and teaches basic and advanced maintenance of traffic classes for the SGL team and partners on the I-4 Ultimate project.

When he’s not at work, he enjoys spending time with his wife and six children, who range from ages 7 to 17. One of his hidden talents is baking, and he has created some colorful cakes decorated as his children’s favorite characters. He also has two dogs, two chinchillas and a cat. “My wife is an animal person,” he explained. “I am too, just not as much as my wife.”

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).