I-4 Beyond the Ultimate: The long road ahead

first_img Gov. DeSantis says new moment-of-silence law in public schools protects religious freedom Á From the Orange County Board of CommissionersFor Valentine’s Day this year, the MetroPlan Orlando Board heard a presentation on the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT)’s I-4 Beyond the Ultimate project at its board meeting last week. The presentation, given by Mr. Mario Bizzio, the District 5 Design Engineer for FDOT, provided Board members with an overview of the project, its purpose, and detailed explanations of each section. Through the I-4 Beyond the Ultimate project, FDOT is working to improve mobility and safety on 60 miles of I-4 from Polk County into Volusia County.  Having made reservations of 2.63 miles of the limited-access toll road located from Orange Boulevard to the east of Rinehart Road, the Wekiva Parkway Section 8 project is expected to begin its design and building phase in Fall 2018. This project will include the new I-4/Wekiva Parkway interchange, which will connect S.R. 417.I-4 Beyond the Ultimate’s Interim Projects (within Segment 3) include the following: Adding a new general use lane from the end of I-4 Ultimate to Lake Mary Blvd; replacing the bridge located between Williamson and I-4 and resurfacing I-4 North and South of I-4/Wekiva Parkway interchange. In addition, Segment 2 of I-4 Beyond the Ultimate will occur from west of the Central Florida Parkway to west of Kirkman Road; will include a segment of S.R. 528 from I-4 to International Drive, and is expected to transform 3 major interchanges. Furthermore, I-4 Beyond the Ultimate has a separate interim construction project planned: I-4/Daryl Carter Parkway interchange. This project will relieve pressure on the Apopka Vineland Road (S.R. 535) interchange. Despite its current lack of funding for construction costs, the project is still expecting to have its letting package ready by late 2019.Based on preliminary design, I-4 Beyond the Ultimate will include the following: 129 rebuilt, new or widened bridges; 55 new drainage ponds; and 22 interchanges improved or significantly rebuilt. Right-of-way needs are also being identified and acquisition is underway.In the South section of I-4 Beyond the Ultimate, Design Segments 2 and 1C will cover 4.2 miles: West of Central Florida Parkway to west S.R. 535 (Kirkman Road). The total cost of building and design will be funded at $760 million. Construction of this section is expected to begin in late 2019 and offer a finished product by 2023.Design Segment 1B of the South section will cover 5.7 miles: East of S.R. 522 (Osceola Parkway) to the west of Central Florida Parkway. The total cost of building and design is $1,294 million and does not yet have a source of funding; this design segment is the most expensive out of all the design segments. Given the current lack of funding, this project is pending a construction procurement schedule.Design Segment 1A of the South section will cover 7.9 miles: West of C.R. 532 (Champions Gate) to the east of S.R. 522 (Osceola Parkway). The total cost of building and design is $989M and, similar to Design Segment 1B, currently lacks a source of funding and thus has a pending construction procurement schedule.Design Segment 5 of the South section will cover 4 miles: West of U.S. 27 in Polk County to west C.R. 532 (Champions Gate). The total cost of building and design is $317 million and does not have any funding to date. Presently, a construction procurement schedule is pending.In the North section, Design Segment 3 will cover 9 miles: East of S.R. 434 to U.S. 17/92 in Seminole County. The total cost for building and design, $614 million, is being partially funded at approximately 50%. This project is expected to begin construction in late 2026 and conclude in 2030.Design Segment 4 of the North section will cover 10 miles: East of U.S. 17/92 to east of S.R. 472 in Volusia County. The total cost for building and design is $572 million and has not received any funding. A construction procurement schedule is currently pending.To help keep residents informed and apprised of I-4 Beyond the Ultimate’s progress, FDOT is currently working to launch a website, I4Express.com, and a Mobile App. By visiting the website, residents can sign up for: A monthly e-newsletter on I-4 Ultimate and I-4 Beyond the Ultimate; and construction alerts that are sent out in advance. 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