i-4 Ultimate

September 2019

* I-4 Ultimate Team Has Plans in Place for Hurricane Season
* Improved I-4 Interchange at Lee Road Will Increase Capacity and Reinforce Safety
* Single Point Urban Interchanges: Pocket-sized Solutions to High Traffic Volumes
* Employee Spotlight: Tania Ledesma Torres
* I-4 Construction Projects in Seminole County Are Gaining Momentum

I-4 Ultimate Team Has Plans in Place for Hurricane Season


Although fall is starting, it’s still peak season for hurricanes. So, being prepared for storms that can cause major damage and flood vast areas remains a top priority for the I‑4 Ultimate team.

Hurricane season lasts through November 30, but the peak time for hurricanes runs from mid-August to mid-October. It is important to get supplies and have a safety plan in place for families and organizations.

For the I-4 Ultimate team, preparation starts well ahead of a storm ever appearing. The team makes sure that circuit breakers are clearly marked and located, emergency inventory is reviewed to ensure ample supply levels, the availability of rental equipment is checked, and much more.

New methods and equipment introduced this year include new hard hats to improve worker safety and a new medical clinic to quickly treat workers.

Detailed plans are essential, as the I‑4 Ultimate team has 21 miles of roadway to look after and a set of state-approved policies to follow. Those guidelines are designed to minimize damage while keeping employees safe, essential staff on duty and emergency routes open.

When the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) gives the order, the I‑4 Ultimate team follows its approved procedures to secure or remove traffic barrels, barricades, temporary signage, and any other items that strong winds may carry off. Depending on weather conditions, workers may also lower the overhead lights on high-mast poles.

When sustained winds are predicted at or to exceed 35 mph, it is an indicator that storm-safety procedures should start.

After the storm subsides, the team inspects the site for damage, begins cleanup and drainage activities and then promptly gets back to its regular work schedule on the 21-mile improvement project as soon as it is safe.

The I‑4 crew also is addressing flooding issues. SGL Constructors — the joint construction project of Skanska, Granite, and Lane — works on solutions to mitigate flooding.

Water pumping capacity has been increased, and crews are also on duty 24/7 to promptly address water accumulation throughout the corridor.

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles also has information and links for those who want to make sure their own severe weather plans are up-to-date.


Improved I-4 Interchange at Lee Road Will Increase Capacity and Reinforce Safety


Serving as a connector to and from the communities of Winter Park and Eatonville, the Lee Road and Interstate 4 (I‑4) interchange remains a busy spot that is likely to get busier as the region continues to grow.

Plans to increase the interchange’s capacity and improve safety for motorists are crucial parts of the I‑4 Ultimate project.

The ramps to and from the interchange will be lengthened and realigned to accommodate more vehicles. Both the eastbound and westbound I‑4 exit ramps already have an additional lane added between the interstate and the foot of the ramp to help move traffic through the ramps and lessen the likelihood of backups onto I‑4.

Eastbound Lee Road under I‑4 will feature an additional left turn lane leading to the eastbound I‑4 entrance ramp.

Just north of the interchange, the team will build a westbound I‑4 express lanes entrance point from the general use lanes and an eastbound I‑4 express lanes exit to the general use lanes.

Although Kennedy Boulevard won’t be transformed into a full interchange, the bridge and adjacent green spaces will receive significant aesthetic upgrades designed to highlight the Town of Eatonville’s history.

Construction is progressing throughout the area, and some parts of the roadway already are in the final configuration.

Eastbound I‑4 at Lee Road through Kennedy Boulevard has been constructed as have the eastbound I‑4 ramps at the interchange. Westbound I‑4 at Kennedy Boulevard has also been completed. Meanwhile, crews are working to build the westbound I‑4 general use lanes and ramps at the interchange.


Single Point Urban Interchanges: Pocket-sized Solutions to High Traffic Volumes


Thousands of cars but just one set of traffic signals.

That’s how two of the 15 major interchanges along the 21 miles of Interstate 4 (I‑4) will operate upon I‑4 Ultimate project completion.

The State Road (S.R.) 436 and Colonial Drive (S.R. 50) interchanges will be reconstructed as single point urban interchanges (SPUIs) to move cars through tight areas – such as Downtown Orlando or Altamonte Springs – as efficiently as possible.

A SPUI is a type of space-efficient interchange that is used to safely and efficiently move a lot of traffic through an interchange with a limited amount of space. Once in their final configuration, these interchanges will contain one set of traffic signals that will control all through traffic and motorists turning left to and from I‑4. By contrast, think of how many sets of signal lights you usually see at a busy intersection.

This configuration already is taking shape at the S.R. 436 interchange. In August, the interchange shifted to a temporary configuration, which placed motorists on the new bridges north and south of the old lanes. This configuration will be in place for about one year while crews demolish the old bridges and reconstruct the new ones, moving the interchange closer to its final configuration as a SPUI.

The S.R. 436 SPUI will be configured on the bridge over I‑4 while the Colonial Drive SPUI will operate underneath the interstate.


Employee Spotlight: Tania Ledesma Torres
Project Engineer Focusing on Landscaping

When Project Engineer Tania Ledesma Torres was a youngster in Toa Baja, Puerto Rico, she loved to look at the big highways and bridges that seemed so monumental and led to fascinating places.

“I remember daydreaming during car rides when I saw roads and bridges, and I always dreamed of being part of the team that builds them,” said Torres, who is a project engineer with SGL – the construction joint venture of Skanska, Granite, and Lane for the I‑4 Ultimate Project.

That childhood dream led Torres to Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico and a degree in civil engineering. Eventually, it took her to the I‑4 Ultimate Project.

In April 2017, she started as a Quality Engineer in Segment 4 (Maitland through Longwood). In February of 2018, she was promoted to project-wide Landscape Engineer. That means she manages the planting of 19,000 trees and 13,000 bushes (all part of the $28 million budgeted for landscaping).

With nearly 60 percent of landscaping still to be placed, Torres loves staying busy with a project that uses native and Florida-friendly plants, including many low-maintenance trees and grasses.

“Landscaping gives the project its character,” Torres said. “It provides native habitat and resting and watering areas for local and migrating wildlife, and it is just as essential as the many other elements of the project that I am so proud of.”

She enjoys viewing the results. “I especially love the landscape design and execution in the area of Conroy Road by the Mall at Millennia – the palms, cypress trees, crape myrtles, Japanese blueberries and other beautiful plants that complement the pond.”

Torres appreciates the supportive teamwork, too. “I love to be involved in each phase of this project from design to construction. The work being done here brings me back to my childhood and daydreaming during car rides.”

These days, she doesn’t have much time for daydreaming: “Being mother and wife, my favorite hobby is having quality time with the family; they are everything to me.” But, no doubt, one day she’ll tell her children about the roads in her journey.

“I followed that dream and made it come true, and I am both proud and humbled to be part of one of the largest infrastructure projects in the country at this time.”


I-4 Construction Projects in Seminole County Are Gaining Momentum


As work begins on the Beyond the I-4 Ultimate project, motorists will see an increasing amount of construction activity on Interstate 4 (I-4) in Seminole County.

The efforts, which will improve mobility and safety on I-4, range from milling and resurfacing sections of the roadway to completely replacing a bridge that crosses the interstate.

Each project will improve safety and traffic flow. A quick overview of these first projects includes:

  • Replacing E.E. Williamson Road bridge with a wider overpass that allows for more room for pedestrians and bicyclists.
  • Adding an auxiliary lane running beneath the new E.E. Williamson Road that will stretch from the end of the I‑4 Ultimate Project near State Road (S.R.) 434 to west of Lake Mary Boulevard. The lane will accommodate traffic coming from the new express lanes currently under construction on I‑4 Ultimate.
  • Realigning the eastbound I-4 exit ramp to Lake Mary Boulevard and eliminating a concrete island to increase mobility.
  • Milling and resurfacing of the eastbound Interstate 4 (I-4) travel lanes between Lake Mary Boulevard and County Road (C.R.) 46A and from S.R. 46 to the Seminole-Volusia county line. The work will extend the life of the pavement.

The projects will be built in a style that matches and/or complements the work already being accomplished on the I-4 Ultimate project, so that the transition between I-4 Ultimate work and I-4 Beyond the Ultimate will appear seamless.

To receive updates on construction activity, check the interactive construction alerts map or sign up for newsletters and customizable alerts at https://i4beyond.com/signup/.