Residents and motorists, who already are familiar with the I-4 Ultimate project, may soon begin to see and hear more about the I-4 Beyond the Ultimate project. At the same time, they may also hear that the Wekiva Parkway is linking to Interstate 4 (I-4) north of Lake Mary.
So, it’s natural for motorists to wonder how these three important projects taking place on major highways in Central Florida will connect and relate to each other.
In some ways, the answer is simple. All three are managed by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and all three are designed to improve safety and mobility in Central Florida. Each also has its own very detailed website. Briefly stated, the three projects are:
- I-4 Ultimate is the current 21-mile reconstruction of I-4 that stretches from the interchange with Kirkman Road (S.R. 435) in Orange County through downtown Orlando to the interchange with State Road (S.R.) 434 in Seminole County.
- I-4 Beyond the Ultimate is a collection of design segments that will improve I-4 for another 20 miles on both ends of the I-4 Ultimate project. Two interim projects will start in 2019 in Seminole County to improve traffic flow on eastbound I-4 and extend the life of the I-4 travel lanes. Another interim construction project is scheduled to begin in 2020 that will transform the Daryl Carter Parkway overpass into an interchange with eastbound I-4 exit and entrance ramps and a westbound I-4 exit ramp. Also in 2020, the first complete reconstruction of an interchange for I-4 Beyond the Ultimate is expected to begin at Sand Lake Road (S.R. 482). I-4 Beyond the Ultimate construction projects will match the look of I-4 Ultimate and will appear nearly seamless to motorists. But the improvements will move forward in smaller increments. In other words, construction will focus on a few miles at a time, rather than 20 or more miles at once.
- Wekiva Parkway (Section 8) is the final part of the beltway system around Central Florida managed by FDOT and the Central Florida Expressway Authority. This section will connect to I-4 in Seminole County will complete the loop around Orlando and surrounding communities, improving safety, mobility and connectivity in the region.
These projects can be viewed in detail by going to the corresponding websites for I-4 Ultimate, I-4 Beyond the Ultimate, and Wekiva Parkway. The websites feature maps, artist renderings and more about construction activities and schedules.