The express lanes, which run two in each direction, are an innovative solution to address traffic congestion for a region that sees more than 220,000 vehicles drive through a day, and provide motorists with more reliable travel options.
SGL Constructors has completed the I-4 Ultimate managed lanes, known locally as "I-4 Express", a significant milestone in the roadway's comprehensive redevelopment. The implementation of the managed lanes along the highway is an innovative solution to address traffic congestion and provide motorists with more reliable travel options.
The newly built managed lanes extend from just west of Kirkman Road (State Road (S.R.) 435) in Orange County, Florida, to just east of S.R. 434 in Seminole County and are separated by a concrete barrier wall from the general use lanes.
With construction led by SGL Constructors, a joint venture of Skanska, Granite and Lane, the I-4 Ultimate project is a public-private partnership to rebuild 21 mi. of Interstate 4 (I-4) in central Florida that started in spring 2015. The completion of the highway redevelopment is on behalf of the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT). It is considered one of the most complex and extensive transportation infrastructure projects under way in the United States and is the largest infrastructure project undertaken by the state of Florida to date.
"The completion of these express lanes, and earlier general use lanes, is the culmination of 21 million manhours of dedicated work by local and industry professionals," said William McGuinness, project director of SGL Constructors. "With this milestone, the 21-mile corridor is now prepared for full functionality and use for the 220,000 daily visitors, businesses and residents of central Florida using this vital interstate."
The express lanes, two in each direction, have wider shoulders on the right to give motorists room to pull over if experiencing any vehicle mechanical issues. I-4 Express also features emergency access points approximately every 2 mi., allowing emergency vehicles to respond in a quick manner to incidents. The implementation of advanced traffic management technology will include traffic sensors and cameras built into the overhead sign trusses and other infrastructure, and the use of digital signs to communicate traffic information and conditions in real time.
Any two-axle vehicle equipped with an active SunPass or other Florida-accepted transponder can use I-4 Express. All tolls are collected electronically, allowing motorists to travel at normal highway speed without having to slow down when driving under an overhead gantry. The toll pricing will be adjusted by FDOT based on traffic volume to manage congestion.
The I-4 Ultimate project is a public-private partnership, procured and delivered under the design-build-finance-operations-maintenance (DBFOM) method. As the private entity concessionaire contracting directly with FDOT, I-4 Mobility Partners is a 50/50 shareholding partnership comprised of Skanska Asset Management and John Laing and, which upon the opening of I-4 Express, is responsible for the 33-year operation and maintenance of the asset.
"As I-4 Mobility Partners enters into the operations and maintenance phase of this important project with a view to provide a significantly safer and more efficient motorist experience, I want to express our team's gratitude to SGL for its project contributions to date," said Frederick Burman, executive vice president for Skanska Asset Management and board member of I-4 Mobility Partners. "We remain committed towards the FDOT and local communities to continue to deliver an excellent service going forward."
The scope of the overall I-4 Ultimate project includes rebuilding the interstate from west of Kirkman Road in Orange County, through downtown Orlando to east of S.R. 434 in Seminole County, adding the new express lanes in each direction, replacing more than 140 bridges, and reconfiguring 15 major interchanges.
For more information about the I-4 Ultimate Improvement Project, visit i4ultimate.com.
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