Work is set to begin in early 2015 on the Florida Department of Transportation’s Interstate 4 Ultimate construction project. The project will revamp a 21 mile section of Interstate 4 in Central Florida from Orange County to Seminole County.
The project will add two new tolled express lanes in each direction, replace more than 140 bridges, reconfigure 15 major interchanges and reconstruct the entire existing roadway. It will also increase the highway design speed to 60 mph. Construction is expected to be completed by 2021.
“This is a very aggressive schedule,” said Loreen Bobo, program manager for the Interstate 4 Ultimate construction project. “We are designing and constructing 250 lane miles in less than seven years.”
Construction is being funded through a public-private partnership in which a contractual agreement between a public agency and a private sector bidder is made. This partnership will allow the Interstate 4 project to be completed 17 years sooner than through traditional funding methods, says the Florida DOT.
There is also a plan to reconfigure the 434 rest area, which is a common rest stop for truckers in the area.
Due to the scale of the construction, drivers are warned that there could be as many as 35 lane closures in a single night, ramp closures and lane shifts. The construction crews will even sometimes be using orange barrels with no jersey barriers.
The project team says it is committed to maintaining the same number of lanes that are in existence today while working on the project. However, to ensure that drivers can adjust to changes, the Florida DOT encourages checking the project website for the latest information.On the website, drivers can also sign up for project newsletters and personalized alerts to stay up to date.