Posted: July 28, 2017
Last modified: July 28, 2017

The I-4 Ultimate project in Central Florida received the prestigious Envision Platinum award from the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI) during a recent ceremony at the project’s office in Maitland.

The award recognizes the wide-ranging efforts to make the 21-mile reconstruction project sustainable and environmentally friendly. Presenters noted that this is the first time a Florida project has been so honored and the first time a highway project earned the highest – Platinum – distinction.

“The I-4 corridor is not just about transportation,” said Susan Hann, a board member of ISI and its immediate past chair. “The corridor impacts commerce, communities and quality of life every single day.”

The Envision Platinum Certification shows that the I-4 Ultimate project, which ranks as the largest infrastructure project in state history, also can rank high in concern for threatened wildlife, control of stormwater runoff, use of locally appropriate plants, creating public spaces that bring people together and integrating alternative forms of transportation such as walking and bike trails.

The award also shows that large transportation projects can take into account the needs of the communities affected, said Loreen Bobo, P.E. who is the I-4 Ultimate Construction Program Manager for the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), which oversees the 21-mile project.

“We are building a safer corridor for everyone who travels through it,” she said.

The project will remake the six-lane interstate from west of the Kirkman Road in Orange County interchange to east of the interchange with State Road 434 in Seminole County. It will build or widen 140 bridges, reconfigure 15 major interchanges and add four Express Lanes (two in each direction). It is scheduled for completion in 2021.

Brook Brookshire, who is the I-4 Ultimate Project Director for SGL – the construction joint venture of Skanska, Granite and Lane – talked about the aesthetic appeal of the project along with ongoing recycling efforts. By recycling 99 percent of the concrete and steel, the team lessens costs and environmental impacts. Brookshire said the team has recycled 100,000 tons of concrete, steel, asphalt, wood and plastics.

The $2.3 billion project overseen by FDOT is a public-private investors in which private partners help fund the project, advancing the completion date by at least 20 years. Other major partners in the project at the ceremony included I-4 Mobility Partners, HDR Engineering, Inc. and Jacobs Design Group.

Created in 2012 through collaboration between ISI and the Zofnass Program for Sustainable Infrastructure at Harvard University Graduate School of Design, the Envision system rates the impact of sustainable infrastructure projects as a whole. The system measures sustainability in five categories: Quality of Life, Leadership, Natural World, Resource Allocation, and Climate and Risk. These key areas contribute to the positive social, economic and environmental impacts on a community.

According to information on the ISI website, ISI is a nonprofit “founded by the American Public Works Association (APWA), the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), and the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) and operates under their oversight.”