i-4 Ultimate

August 2020

* Construction Update: New Westbound I-4 Ramp from Orange Blossom Trail Opens
* Construction Update: Crews Continue Phase 2 Work for S.R. 436 Pedestrian Tunnel
* Drive in Eight: An Updated Look at the 21-Mile I-4 Ultimate Improvement Project
* Employee Spotlight: Kenny Bellamy and Henry Ruchs

Construction Update: New Westbound I-4 Ramp from Orange Blossom Trail Opens


The Florida Department of Transportation’s (FDOT) I-4 Ultimate project continues making significant progress at Interstate 4 (I-4) interchanges as new entrance and exit ramps continue to open, improving safety and mobility.

A new westbound I-4 entrance ramp from Orange Blossom Trail (U.S. 441/17-92) opened in its final footprint August 21. The new entrance ramp is longer than the previous ramps, providing drivers with additional space to merge onto I-4.

The ramp was closed for about a month as it was rebuilt.

Similarly, the westbound I-4 entrance ramp from Gore Street closed for about a month August 21 to rebuild the ramp. Motorists will be detoured to the new ramp from Orange Blossom Trail. Please see this handout for more details.

Continuous closures will be necessary to accelerate construction work in several key areas on the I-4 Ultimate project.

As a reminder, the following closures are ongoing:

As closures and shifts continue, it is important for motorists to pay extra attention to signage, as familiar routes may have changed. Drivers should avoid distractions, adjust their speed, and allow plenty of extra time to navigate the I-4 Ultimate work zone.


Construction Update:
Crews Continue Phase 2 Work for S.R. 436 Pedestrian Tunnel


While eastbound and westbound Interstate 4 (I-4) general use lanes are in final configuration, in Seminole County, another part of the project is forging ahead.

Underground work is well underway for the State Road (S.R.) 436 pedestrian tunnel as the project has moved into the second phase of the three-phase plan.

In late June, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) shifted the eastbound S.R. 436 lanes over I-4 onto the newly constructed center lanes. The turn lanes from westbound S.R. 436 onto westbound I-4 also shifted to the new center lanes. The shift was to accommodate second phase work for the S.R. 436 pedestrian tunnel.

In the photos provided, which were taken in early August, you can see the start of a large hollow concrete tunnel reinforced with rebar. Eventually, the complete tunnel will be 12-feet wide, 10-feet tall, and will stretch under S.R. 436 between Douglas Avenue and Wymore Road. The tunnel will always be fully lit, and the Altamonte Springs Police Department will monitor security cameras in the tunnel.

For more information about pedestrian features on the I-4 Ultimate Improvement Project, visit i4ultimate.com/ped-bike.


Drive in Eight: An Updated Look at the
21-Mile I-4 Ultimate Improvement Project


Get a first-person perspective of improvements on Interstate 4 (I-4) as if you’re in the driver’s seat. In two eight-minute videos, we drive through the entire 21-mile I-4 Ultimate Improvement Project — both eastbound and westbound.

Each video has a split view: The top shows how I-4 looks as of August 2020, and the bottom shows how the roadway appeared before construction started.

Most of the I-4 Ultimate project’s general use lanes — from west of Kirkman Road in Orange County to east of State Road 434 in Seminole County — are now in their final footprint, and crews are building two dynamically tolled express lanes in each direction, reconstructing 15 major interchanges, and widening, adding, or replacing more than 140 bridges.

I-4 Ultimate has made substantial upgrades to Central Florida’s major transportation artery since construction began in 2015.

Viewers can see newly paved roads, how lanes have shifted, new ramps and configurations, express lane entrances/exits, expanded interchanges, and more by checking out the videos here:


Employee Spotlight: The Wymore Road/Riddle Drive Area Road Crew

From left: Kenny Bellamy and Henry Ruchs

Members of the road crew around Wymore Road have been working in the same general area for several months while also trying to be good neighbors.

They strongly believe in their job of improving safety and mobility on and around Interstate 4 (I-4), but they also know that the roadwork and the noise of heavy machinery can bother those in the area. The I-4 Ultimate team, makes every effort to limit noise and resolve concerns of residents and business owners.

Although road crew workers are not specialists in community relations, some residents in the area have shown appreciation of the workers’ efforts to be approachable and sympathetic. The following unsolicited email came from a property owner a couple of weeks ago:

“The guys that have been working right in front of our house are really good guys. They work so hard. The worker with the big glasses, I don't know his name, but he is especially great! Very nice man and always smiling.”

A second resident told an official with the I-4 Ultimate team that the workers “are always helpful and polite.”

That’s high praise in the area of South Wymore Road between Fairbanks Avenue and Euston Road, where the reconstruction work includes detours, drainage improvements, new curbs and sidewalks, eight driveway replacements, a high Mechanically Stabilized Earth (MSE) wall, and massive girder placements.

The praise is appreciated by members of the road crew, including Mike Foley, Henry Ruchs, and Kenny Bellamy, who are all part of SGL – the joint venture of Skanska, Granite and Lane – for the I-4 Ultimate construction project.

Ruchs – the person mentioned in the email – has been working on I-4 Ultimate for four years. He likes the variety of challenges he faces on the job. “I enjoy learning new things every day, and I’ve really enjoyed working with the many diverse teams over the years.”

Foley is a highly experienced worker, and well-respected member of the team and veteran of the industry.

Bellamy, a four-year veteran of the project, appreciates the teamwork. “I like working with the team. I love coming to work and doing different things. Each day is a new adventure. It’s a real family atmosphere, and despite the heat, humidity and curveballs the job sometimes throws us, everyone has a great attitude.”