I-4 Beyond The Ultimate

December 2019

* I-4 Construction Closures Suspended for Holiday Travel
* Construction Spotlight: Jay Johnson

I-4 Construction Closures Suspended for Holiday Travel


To help ease traffic congestion during busy holiday travel planned construction closures for I-4 Beyond the Ultimate’s projects in Seminole County will be suspended for two weeks.

All lane and ramp closures on Interstate 4 (I-4) will be suspended until Friday, January 3, 2020, minimizing potential traffic delays for motorists over the holiday travel period.

While all lanes of I-4 will remain open to accommodate expected additional traffic during the holiday, some crews still will be out working along the project. Motorists should continue to drive responsibly through the work zone.

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) urges travelers to use the Florida 511 Advanced Traveler Information System (FL511) for a safer and more efficient journey through the winter holidays. FL511 provides the most up-to-date information on traffic and travel conditions on major roads and in larger metropolitan areas throughout the state. Motorists can also view live roadway cameras showing traffic conditions on their route.

FDOT reminds all travelers to check FL511 before driving. Once on the road, a passenger can check traffic conditions while the car is moving by using the app. If driving alone, the driver can check FL511 once parked in a safe spot. Here are some holiday travel safety tips to consider:

Before leaving:

  • Visit FL511.com and plan out your trip. The website provides an estimated arrival time, up to three routes to choose from, and shows current road and severe weather conditions. Know before you go!
  • Leave ample time to arrive at your destination, and expect increased traffic and possible delays during the holidays.

During the trip:

  • If you need to check FL511, either pull over and stop in a safe area (such as a rest area) or have a passenger in the car check the app.
  • During long trips, avoid drowsy driving by making regular stops and rotating drivers, if possible.
  • Always wear a safety belt.
  • Don’t drink and drive.

For more information, visit FL511.com or download the app from the Apple App or Google Play stores.


Construction Spotlight: Jay Johnson
Assistant Project Administrator for Construction Inspections

For most drivers, Interstate 4 (I-4) is simply a route to get somewhere.

But for Jay Johnson, who spent more than two decades in roadway construction in Central Florida, I-4 is a reminder of the highlights of his career. For him, driving the highway is like thumbing through a scrapbook of memories.

“You point at something on I-4, and I’ve got a story for almost every part in Central Florida,” Johnson said. It’s a rare perspective that highlights the wide variety of people – their backgrounds and viewpoints – who make up the I-4 Beyond the Ultimate team

Where most motorists see only a stretch of roadway, Johnson sees projects completed, challenges overcome, people he worked with, and high achievements. As an inspector of construction processes and materials, he takes great pride when a project exceeds even his high expectations, as did those 14 miles of I-4 between DeLand and I-95.

“That concrete is the smoothest pavement. Everybody says those lanes are the smoothest. It’s truly noticeable,” said Johnson, who has 23 years in the construction business.

Considering his background, it takes something exceptional to make a project memorable. After graduation from Eau Gallie High School in Brevard County, he enlisted in the Army and spent 10 years as a military air traffic controller, photographic analyst and explosive ordnance disposal technician.

Later, his bomb disposal skills offered him a nontraditional entry into the construction field. A landfill reclamation project in Virginia hired him to help handle all the dangerous items they unearthed: anything from discarded ammunition to pressurized propane tanks.

Returning to Central Florida, Johnson became a construction inspector at Parsons Brinkerhoff and later at WSP, where he is a vital part of the team inspecting I-4 Beyond projects in Seminole and Volusia counties, including work at E.E. Williamson Road.

He enjoys inspections because they draw on his knowledge of soils and drainage, concrete and asphalt, guardrails and shoulders, and lane striping and rumble strips. “What I love about road building is that there’s so much more to it than what drivers see.”

In his spare time, Johnson enjoys activities that range from skydiving to driving his 2008 Mustang along highways he helped improve. Of course, new projects alter his scrapbook of roadway memories.

Having been part of the team that improved the interchange at I-4 and State Road 408 more than 10 years ago, he grows nostalgic when he sees new ramps and lanes replacing his previous work.

“I know they are needed to maintain safety and mobility,” he said. “But it still hurts a little.”