Conceptual preliminary landscape illustration. Final landscape plan subject to design changes.

Posted: May 6, 2015
Last modified: January 19, 2017

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is investing in new landscaping for environmental and aesthetic purposes all along the I-4 Ultimate project. More than 14,500 trees will be planted in concert with native shrubs and grasses to create a signature corridor in an important region.

These new plants, according to the preliminary design, can include:

  • Palms (such as Silver Bismark Palm and Canary Island Date Palm)
  • Canopy trees (such as Live Oak, Red Oak and Pignut Hickory)
  • Flowering trees (such as Dogwood, Muskogee Crape Myrtle and Great Southern Magnolia)
  • Transitional wetland trees (such as Florida Flame Red Myrtle and Bald Cypress)
  • Buffer trees (such as Southern Red Cedar and Maki Yew Pine).

The final mixture of species is subject to change and several other similar choices are approved for use.
More than $28 million of the total $2.3 billion project will be spent on landscaping for the 21-mile project. The plans also call for about 40,000 native shrubs and grasses to be planted along with the new trees.

The plants will represent a diversity of species well adapted to the Sunshine State and that, for the most part, are low maintenance. The plant life will also provide a sense of place and a visual appeal that travelers will recognize as distinctively Floridian.

The contractors are doing their best to preserve trees while building the highest quality roadway and drainage systems. However, the loss of some trees is unavoidable, especially areas where stormwater retention and underground exfiltration drainage facilities need to be placed. These environmentally beneficial systems prevent stormwater runoff from discharging into local lakes. Drainage systems can be impacted by the roots of large plantings. For this reason, landscaping will only be installed where damage to any of the drainage systems can be avoided. Landscaping occurs in later phases of construction to avoid harm to the plants.

I-4 Ultimate is meeting FDOT’s Bold Vision for Florida’s Highway Beautification and creating a signature corridor. Every effort will be made to incorporate new and existing landscaping, where appropriate, into the bold vision.