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Motorists and residents of Central Florida already know a lot about the I-4 Ultimate reconstruction project. But an even larger project, called I-4 Beyond the Ultimate, remains relatively unknown – even as it gets underway.

Beyond the Ultimate is just what it says. It goes well beyond the current I-4 Ultimate work. This second project will add 20 miles of extra lanes and reconfigured interchanges to the western end of the I-4 Ultimate project. And it will add another 20 miles of new lanes to the eastern end as well.

Both improvement projects are overseen by the Florida Department of Transportation and both add extra lanes, more bridges and improved interchanges. Most importantly, both improve the safety and mobility of the interstate while increasing connectivity between Central Florida communities.

FAST FACTS
I-4 BEYOND THE ULTIMATE

Overview:

  • Two 20-mile sections on either end of I-4 Ultimate
  • Eastern end runs from S.R. 434 in Seminole County to S.R. 472 in Volusia County
  • Western end runs from Kirkman Road in Orange County to U.S. 27 in Polk County

Work Includes:

  • 129 rebuilt, new or widened bridges
  • 55 new drainage ponds
  • 22 interchanges improved or significantly rebuilt
  • Adding four dynamically tolled Express Lanes (two in each direction). Lanes are an option for those who want to avoid slower traffic and pay tolls that rise and fall with congestion. {any spots where it’s only two lanes?}
  • Maintains the current six non-tolled lanes (three in each direction)

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I-4 Beyond the Ultimate: Building a Path to the Future

By now, most of Central Florida probably has heard of the I-4 Ultimate project – the effort to reconstruct 21 miles of Interstate 4 (I-4), including the portion that runs through downtown Orlando. But another project called I-4 Beyond the Ultimate (BtU) may seem completely new to many residents and motorists. However, this 40-mile project, which will become better known during the next few months, actually has been in development for several years. One segment, at least, is expected to start construction in late 2019.

For the average driver, who is not yet familiar with BtU, it might be easiest to think of BtU as an extension of the massive I-4 Ultimate Project. BtU extends the eastern endpoint of the managed lanes another 20 miles and also adds 20 miles to its western endpoint.

With a goal of improving safety, mobility and connectivity in Central Florida, the BtU project is a complex undertaking that is expected to rebuild and improve 40 miles of Interstate 4. When complete, it will cover twice the length of the current I-4 Ultimate project.

Both Beyond the Ultimate and I-4 Ultimate will improve pavement, ramps and interchanges, and both projects will maintain the current six non-tolled lanes while adding four dynamic tolled Express Lanes (two in each direction). The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) oversees both projects.

“Beyond the Ultimate will bring improved safety and mobility to Central Florida and will help increase connectivity between communities,” said FDOT Project Manager Beata Stys-Palasz, P.E., who is leading the BtU project. “We are very excited to see some of the segments moving closer to construction so that residents and motorists can reap these benefits.”

While state and federal funding has been designated for several sections, the area closest to a construction date is Segment 2, which is a 3.5-mile section that runs between Beachline Expressway (State Road [S.R.] 528) and Kirkman Road (S.R. 435). That work may start in late 2019.

The Beyond the Ultimate project is divided into six design segments. Each must undergo a stringent, multi-step process that includes planning, environmental study, preliminary design, right-of-way considerations, design and construction. While the sections stand at different points in the overall process, the Development and Environment (PD&E) Reevaluation Study has been finalized for the entire project.

In more detailed terms, BtU extends about 20 miles beyond the eastern end of I-4 Ultimate (stretching from S.R. 434 in Seminole County to just east of S.R. 472 in Volusia County). On the western end, BtU will run about 20 miles from west of Kirkman Road in Orange County through part of Osceola County to just west of the U.S. Highway 27 interchange in Polk County.

I-4 Beyond the Ultimate: The Future of Interstate 4

Two major reconstruction and improvement projects will transform 60 miles of Interstate 4 into a signature corridor that improves safety and mobility and adds many aesthetic and landscaping touches to roadway.

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is overseeing both the 21-mile I-4 Ultimate project and the 40-mile I-4 Beyond the Ultimate project.

I-4 Ultimate, which is already well underway, runs from west of the Kirkman Road interchange in Orange County to east of S.R. 434 in Seminole County.

I-4 Beyond the Ultimate extends the western end of the I-4 Ultimate project from Kirkman Road in Orange County to U.S. 27 in Polk County – a distance of about 20 miles. It also extends the eastern end another 20 miles from S.R. 434 in Seminole County to S.R. 472 in Volusia County.

The project also includes dynamically tolled Express Lanes through the 60 miles of improved interstate while maintaining the current number of non-tolled, general use lanes. Although there are two projects, they will link seamlessly to increase connectivity among Central Florida communities while supporting the economy and lifestyle of the region well into the future.

Learn more about I-4 Beyond the Ultimate by visiting I4Express.com to stay informed of construction milestones and updates. FDOT encourages all Central Florida commuters to sign up for advance construction alerts by visiting fdot.tips/I4Alerts.

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Have you heard of I-4 Beyond the Ultimate? It’s building a path to our future.

I-4 Beyond the Ultimate breaks ground in 2020. Learn more by visiting I4Beyond.com.

  • Sign up for I-4 construction updates and alerts at fdot.tips/I4Alerts to stay ahead of construction. Sign up today!
  • #I4Beyond extends 20 miles north and south of #I4Ultimate and starts construction 2020. Visit I4Beyond.com to learn more!
  • #I4Beyond breaks ground in 2020. Learn how to navigate construction with smart transportation options at @MyFDOT’s reThinkYourCommute.com #LYNX #SunRail #Carpool

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I-4 Beyond the Ultimate Project Logo