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December 2017

I-4 Ultimate Construction Making Strides

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Construction activity continues to increase as 2017 ends.

A traffic shift of eastbound Interstate 4 (I-4) between Sand Lake Road/State Road (S.R.) 482 and Grand National Drive is scheduled to open the morning of Friday, December 22. The shift is 1.3 miles long of new eastbound I-4 alignment that removes the large separation between the eastbound and westbound I-4 travel lanes at the Kirkman Road (S.R. 435) interchange.

The most noticeable difference for motorists will be Exit 75B to northbound Kirkman Road will change from a left-hand exit to a right. View or download a map of the entire eastbound I-4 traffic shift at:

Other traffic pattern changes that opened this month on the I-4 Ultimate project include a new westbound I-4 exit to Michigan Street (see photo above) and an eastbound I-4 traffic shift between Lee Road (S.R. 423) and Maitland Boulevard (S.R. 414).

The new westbound Interstate 4 exit ramp to Michigan Street (Exit 81A) occurs nearly a mile sooner. Motorists can exit westbound I-4 to Michigan Street via a new lengthened ramp on the right. The ramp is connected to the existing westbound I-4 entrance ramp from Gore Street and S.R. 408. Motorists seeking to enter westbound I-4 should prepare to merge with traffic to avoid continuing to the ramp to Michigan Street. A handout detailing the shift and new traffic movement is available online to view or download at:

Motorists now have an opportunity to travel on newly paved permanent roadway on eastbound I-4 between Lee Road and Maitland Boulevard. This is a significant milestone for the project, as this nearly one-mile portion of roadway is the first permanent stretch of eastbound I-4 open to traffic. A handout detailing the shift and new traffic movement is available online to view or download at:

I-4 Ultimate Project Limits Closures for Holidays

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Nighttime lane, ramp and road closures on the I-4 Ultimate project will scale down during the winter holidays.

The majority of construction closures on the interstate will be suspended from the night of Saturday, December 24, until the morning of Tuesday, January 2. The I-4 Ultimate project, which extends 21 miles from west of Kirkman Road to east of State Road 434, will be open to holiday traffic; however, motorists should expect the following late-night closures:

  • On December 26–31, nightly closures of John Young Parkway (S.R. 423) under I-4 beginning each night at 11:30 p.m. and ending at 5:30 a.m. Access to all I-4 ramps at the interchange will remain open during the nighttime closure. Detour Map
  • On December 27–30, nightly closures of Division Avenue from Gore Street to Anderson Street beginning each night at 10 p.m. and ending at 5 a.m. The westbound S.R. 408 on-ramp from Division Avenue will remain open during the nighttime closure. Motorists can access the ramp from Anderson Street. Detour Map
  • Single lane closures after 11 p.m. on the eastbound Interstate 4 (I-4) exit and entrance ramps at State Road (S.R.) 436.
  • Right lane closures after 11 p.m. on eastbound and westbound S.R. 436 from the I-4 interchange to Northlake Boulevard.
  • Additional nighttime lane closures may be required on local roads near the I-4/S.R. 436 interchange, including Central Parkway, Douglas Avenue, Westmonte Drive and Wymore Road.

Although the majority of regularly scheduled I-4 Ultimate construction closures are not occurring over the holidays, existing work zones will remain in effect and crews will continue to maintain travel lanes and conduct routine maintenance. Maintenance work often requires nighttime lane closures, for work such as replacing reflective pavement markings on eastbound and westbound I-4 from Conroy Road to Ivanhoe Boulevard on December 27–30.

Motorists are reminded to use caution while traveling through work zones around barricades and equipment. The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) encourages drivers to allow extra travel time and to use extra caution in existing work zones. Drivers are urged to make sure they buckle up, along with their passengers. FDOT and other safety agencies also ask drivers to obey speed limits, get adequate rest before traveling, avoid distractions and never drink and drive.

The Big Machines of I-4 Ultimate:
Keeping that Concrete Flowing

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Concrete Pumping Trucks

Purpose: Deliver concrete by booms and pipes to road and bridge construction sites.

Power: Rated to pump more than 200 cubic yards of concrete per hour or the equivalent of the contents of about 20 concrete-mixer trucks in 60 minutes.

Length of Reach: Boom arms and pipes in largest trucks can stretch about 185 to 200 feet. That’s more than half the length of a football field.

Size of Truck: About 51 feet long and 13 feet high.

If fresh, flowing, wet concrete is the lifeblood of a major construction project, then the big trucks that pump all that bonding material through long pipes serve as its heart.

Using their 400-plus horsepower engines, the pumper trucks push out thick, heavy concrete onto roadbeds, into deep foundations and up to bridge decks as high as 190 feet through nearly 200-foot-long boom arms.

The machines used on the I-4 Ultimate project can pump out all the concrete contained in a typical concrete-mixer truck in just three to four minutes. That’s about 35,000 pounds of concrete moving through 5-inch-wide pipes in the time it takes to heat up leftovers in a microwave.

Still, it’s not a simple matter of just switching on the pumpers and sitting back and watching. “It takes a lot of teamwork and planning to keep transferring concrete from several trucks to hoppers to pumps to work sites, and we’re often trying to maneuver in tight, crowded areas,” said Chris Holdorf, owner of C&C Pumping Services, whose trucks have aided progress on the 21-mile reconstruction effort.

A safe, successful job requires not just the brute force of the machinery, but also the finesse of those who design and execute the details of jobs requiring wide, clear workspaces on interstates at night.

In addition to helping plan rolling roadblocks and overnight detours that may be needed to support a huge concrete job, the I-4 Ultimate team also must figure out how to move many concrete-mixer trucks in and out of tight places. The timing must be just right – even down to the transfer of concrete from the big mixer trucks into the hoppers of the pumper trucks. If the pumpers run out of concrete while operating, it can create many problems for the project because concrete will begin setting before the entire job is finished.

Efficiency, safety and quality are the keys to success, said Holdorf whose company is headquartered in Groveland. “You’re only as good as your last concrete pour.”

’Tis the Season for Giving Back

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The I-4 Ultimate team doesn't just invest in the improving the roadway, it works to improve the community, too.

This holiday season the team is involved in numerous charitable efforts around Central Florida.

Just prior to Thanksgiving, SGL Constructors — the joint venture team of Skanska, Granite and Lane — collected 1,680 food items for students at four schools identified along the project corridor. This year’s donation surpassed the goal of 1,380 food items and last year’s haul of 1,532 items.

SGL also made a $2,000 donation to the Memorial Middle School’s pantry. The donation is expected to keep the pantry stocked through the end of the year, and allows the school to be added as a new beneficiary to the I-4 Ultimate team’s charitable giving.

The holiday cheer is continuing into the holiday season and through the month of December. SGL led the Angel Tree Program that will bring holiday gifts to 80 children attending schools near the I-4 Ultimate corridor.

I-4 Ultimate team members select an angel ornament from a tree that contains a child’s information and their requested gift. SGL volunteers then deliver the collected gifts.

The gifts are gathered from all four construction offices of the project, as well as participants from the Florida Department of Transportation, HNTB, Volkert, Jacobs and HDR.

Spotlight Employee: Maria Bisi

Maria Bisi
Maintenance of Traffic Office Engineer

Employee Spotlight photo

An interest in architecture and how design can improve the life of a community drew Maria Bisi to the I-4 Ultimate project nearly a year ago.

Born, raised and educated in Venezuela, her route to the I-4 project might seem a little surprising. But in another way, she’s just following the path set by her parents.

Both her parents are civil engineers, and Bisi knew she wanted to work in a similar field. She chose architecture because the design aspect fascinates her, and she loves the mindset of striving to create structures and infrastructure based on community needs and not simply aesthetics.

After she graduated with her bachelor’s degree in architecture, she moved with her family to the Sunshine State and began working as an assistant retail manager. She took English classes growing up, but became fluent while working in retail. She worked there for almost two years before her friend told her about the I-4 Ultimate project and recommended she apply.

Bisi started as an administrator in the Maintenance of Traffic (MOT) group 10 months ago and was quickly promoted to MOT Office engineer – as part of SGL Constructors, the joint venture team of Skanska, Granite and Lane. Her duties include collecting the MOT schedules for each night and assembling them into one document for the entire team. She also reviews MOT requests and coordinates with police officers for rolling roadblocks and other closures.

When she’s not working, Bisi likes to take weekend getaways. She’s visited Houston, San Diego and all around Florida. She also has a schnauzer named Manolo, and she likes watching TV, partly because it helped her become fluent in English.

The job of MOT Office Engineer can be overwhelming sometimes, but everyone is cheerful and positive. “It’s nice working with so many experienced people,” Bisi said. She also enjoys seeing how design can benefit the lifestyle of a bustling region.  “It’s really nice to work on a project with such a big impact,” Bisi said.

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).