Ultimate I-4 a multi-year-undertaking

- Inside the Florida Department of Transportation’s Regional Traffic Management Center, staffers watch as cameras show whether or not traffic is moving smoothly on Interstate 4. When 2015 rolls around, those workers will see a lot more on the wall of monitors.

“You’ll see utility relocation work.  You’re going to see going to see drainage work.  You’re going to see a lot of work being done behind barrier walls,” said Loreen Bobo, the project manager for the I-4 expansion project.

Drivers will see it all, up close, as they navigate 21 miles of construction where crews will be working to add four toll lanes between State Route 434 in Longwood and Kirkman Road in the tourist corridor.  

FDOT is expected to sign an agreement with I-4 Mobility Partners, the group chosen to handle the expansion project, late this summer.  Once they do, more specific plans will be rolled out for ramp work, lane closures and traffic relocation.

Bobo said there are some guidelines in place. Lanes may be shifted, but in most cases, lanes will state open from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m.

“You might see some long-term lane closures throughout the project, but generally speaking, you’re going to have the same number of lanes today as you will throughout the project,” she said.  

Bobo said ramp closures and long-term road closures will be subject to review by FDOT.  The construction zone will be split up into four areas, with the biggest chunk of work will be happening downtown, as crews change the way drivers move between I-4 and the State Road 408 (East-West Expressway).

An early overview from I-4 Mobility Partners shows work in the downtown area will take the longest — 70 months, or six years. Work in the Lake Ivanhoe area, for example, will last 69 months.

Work near Altamonte Springs is expected to last about 60 months, or five years.  

The area that will see construction for the shortest amount of time is near the attractions, where crews are expected to work for about three-and-a-half years, or 43 months.  

“You’ll see throughout the six-and-a-half years where we’ll ramp up in certain areas and come back down,” Bobo said.  

FDOT plans to work with cities and counties to monitor traffic on side roads and change traffic signals as need, to keep things moving.  

Drivers can sign up for alerts at www.moving-4-ward.com to keep up with what’s happening along the way and plan accordingly.

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