i-4 Ultimate

January 2021

* I-4 Ultimate Auxiliary Lanes Increase Capacity, Improve Safety
* Community Spotlight: Local Restaurant Owner Dishes about I‑4 Improvements

I-4 Ultimate Auxiliary Lanes Increase Capacity, Improve Safety


New auxiliary lanes throughout the I-4 Ultimate project make it easier than ever to enter and exit Interstate 4 (I-4).

By the end of 2020, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) had shifted all 21 miles of the project into their final configuration. Though the number of general use lanes remains the same as prior to construction, the new auxiliary lanes are a feature that adds capacity.

What Are Auxiliary Lanes?

Auxiliary lanes are used differently than general use lanes. The main purpose of auxiliary lanes is to separate traffic that is entering or exiting the highway and allow it to speed up or slow down, as needed. Often placed between exit and entrance ramps, the auxiliary lanes help reduce bottlenecks and weaving. Drivers will notice auxiliary lanes between many of the 15 interchanges in the 21-mile project, such as between John Young Parkway and Conroy Road on westbound I‑4 (pictured above).

How to Use Auxiliary Lanes

Entering: When entering I-4, stay in the auxiliary lane, which is separated by a white dotted line, and accelerate to highway speed before moving into the general use lane to the left.

Exiting: When exiting I-4, move into the auxiliary lane on the far right and continue to slow down until reaching the end of the ramp.

General use drivers should not use the auxiliary lanes as passing lanes.

Motorists should keep their eyes on the road and pay attention to roadway signs, as navigational systems may not be up to date with current configurations. For more tips on how to navigate new movements on I-4, visit I4Ultimate.com.


Community Spotlight: Local Restaurant Owner Dishes about I-4 Improvements

Photo of Rosario Spagnolo

Restaurant owner Rosario Spagnolo is one of many drivers who have taken notice of the improvements on Interstate 4 (I-4) – especially near Maitland Boulevard (State Road 414).

For 18 years, Spagnolo has been traveling between his home in Maitland and his Italian eatery TerraMia Ristorante in Altamonte Springs. Through six of those years, Spagnolo has seen every phase of the I-4 Ultimate project from before construction to heavy activity to being nearly complete.

“At first, the changes were confusing, but I knew it was for the best,” Spagnolo said. “There’s less of a mess now.”

From the time I-4 Ultimate construction began in 2015 to now, the Maitland Boulevard and I-4 interchange has transformed entirely to reduce congestion and enhance safety. Crews shifted traffic to elevated roads, opened new access ramps, and eliminated traffic signals to improve traffic flow.

All of those improvements are necessary as Maitland Boulevard is one of the busiest interchanges on the I-4 Ultimate project with approximately 76,000 vehicles traveling Maitland Boulevard over I-4 and another 172,500 traveling I-4 under Maitland Boulevard daily.

The enhancements are not only a boon to Spagnolo’s travel time, but for his business, too. Because of the better traffic flow between Maitland Boulevard and State Road 434 near his business at 1150 Douglas Avenue, he said his restaurant has experienced more exposure. “You could already see us from I-4, but the added traffic certainly gives us more attention.” 

Spagnolo is looking forward to further improvements as the project winds down, but he knows that traffic backups will not be fully eliminated either. “Like every city’s that’s growing, there will be congestion, but improvements are helping to bypass that.”