I-4 Beyond The Ultimate

August 2022

* Public Meeting to Explain Improvements Coming to I-4 Interchanges in Seminole County
* Improvements Underway at the I-4 and State Road 535 Interchange
* Beyond the Ultimate Spotlight: Eric Cunningham
* Video Shows How ChampionsGate Diverging Diamond Interchange Works
* E.E. Williamson Road Bridge Replacement Project Wins Award

Public Meeting to Explain Improvements Coming to I-4 Interchanges in Seminole County


The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) will host a hybrid public meeting — in person and virtually — from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, August 30, to discuss proposed improvement projects to the County Road (C.R.) 46A (H.E. Thomas Jr. Parkway) and Rinehart Road intersection near Interstate 4 (I-4), and at the I-4 and U.S. 17-92 interchange. The meeting will give the public an opportunity to comment on these projects.

The purpose of these projects located in Seminole County is to provide operational improvements to the intersection of C.R. 46A and Rinehart Road and safety enhancements to the I-4 and U.S. 17-92 interchange.

The meeting will provide area residents and motorists with details about the proposed improvement projects and a potential timeline for construction. Design engineers will be on-site to answer questions and explain the proposed improvements with the help of large display maps, video, and informational handouts. Attendees can comment on and ask questions about the project.

The Department is offering multiple ways for the community to participate in the meeting. All participants, regardless of which platform they choose, will participate in the same live meeting.

  • Virtual Option: Interested persons may join the Virtual Public Meeting (VPM) from a computer, tablet, or mobile device. A VPM is a free live presentation or webinar over the internet. For this option, advance registration is required by visiting fdot.tips/i4meeting. Once registered, participants will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting online. Please note, Internet Explorer cannot be used to register or attend this webinar. If joining online, please allow adequate time to log in to view the presentation in its entirety.
  • Phone Option (Listen Only): Participants may join the meeting in listen-only mode by dialing 213-929-4212 and entering the passcode 295-015-144 when prompted.
  • In-Person Public Meeting Option: Participants may attend in person by going to the Lake Mary Events Center, 260 N. Country Club Road, Lake Mary, FL 32746 anytime between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. to view a looping presentation and project displays, speak with project team members, and submit comments or questions. If attending in person, please remember to follow all safety and sanitation guidelines. If you are feeling unwell, please consider attending the meeting virtually or by phone.

All meeting materials and the presentation will be posted at I4Beyond.com and CFLRoads.com by August 28, 2022.


Improvements Underway at the I-4 and State Road 535 Interchange


The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is improving safety and operations at the Interstate 4 (I-4) and Apopka-Vineland Road (State Road (S.R.) 535) interchange.

FDOT recently completed safety improvements on Apopka-Vineland Road between World Center Drive to south of Hotel Plaza Boulevard. This project included new sidewalk construction, pedestrian safety upgrades, and innovative intersection modifications known as signalized restricted crossing U-turn (RCUT) intersections.

RCUT intersections implement diagonal crosswalks, dedicated right turns, and designated U-turns to improve driving conditions of the roadway. The RCUT intersections on Apopka-Vineland Road allow left and right turns onto a property or side street. Because the design also incorporates coordinated traffic signals, drivers using the U-turn are able to move through the intersection quickly. This design has proven successful across the United States in reducing the most serious types of crashes and improving traffic flow through intersections.

Another project that will revamp the I-4 and Apopka-Vineland Road interchange is currently in the design phase. In preparation for the project, demolition of the former retail complex near the intersection of Apopka-Vineland Road and Hotel Plaza Boulevard is underway. This demolition, which is anticipated to be complete in fall 2023, will make way for I-4 interchange improvements.

Noise and dust are anticipated during the work. Drivers and pedestrians in the area are urged to be aware of the construction area, remain alert for vehicles entering or exiting the construction site, and obey traffic laws.


Beyond the Ultimate Spotlight: Eric Cunningham


With nearly 1,000 new residents moving to Central Florida every week, and tens of millions of tourists flocking to the region every year, keeping area traffic flowing smoothly and safely presents unique challenges. Those working at the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) District Five Regional Transportation Management Center (RTMC), such as Interstate 4 (I-4) Integrated Corridor Management (ICM) Corridor Manager Eric Cunningham, are tasked with meeting these challenges. Cunningham has worked in transportation for nearly seven years, with the last five spent in traffic operations and the two before that in transportation planning.

“My favorite part of my job is coming in every day to try to make a difference,” Cunningham said. “Every day presents us with a different issue, whether it’s construction, a minor fender bender, or a major crash which blocks several lanes.”

As a corridor manager, Cunningham’s mission is to monitor and manage traffic flow along the roads feeding into I-4 by ensuring arterial traffic signals are operating properly and notifying necessary agencies when issues are found. Part of his job includes gathering data out in the field or utilizing specialized computer software from a workstation at the RTMC.

In cases where additional signal timing is needed, such as special events, major crashes, or road closures, corridor managers can remotely change signals on the fly depending on the situation at the time. They also drive along designated diversion routes in search of potential issues, take inventories of equipment out in the field, or manually input timing changes to controllers at signalized intersections.

Central Florida often hosts large sporting, theatrical, and musical events at its popular venues, and with these events come large volumes of motorists. Cunningham has a great deal of experience with the fluctuating transportation needs of large cities, having had his start in the country’s largest.

“It all began with an internship at a transportation company in New York City,” Cunningham said. “It was extremely interesting to learn all the different factors that went into planning, signal timing, and transportation operations. I worked on several big-name projects within the city and knew almost immediately that this is what I wanted to do more of.”

Although he enjoyed his time in the Big Apple, Cunningham is a Florida native.

“I was born in West Palm Beach, grew up in Jupiter, and went to school at the University of Central Florida, where I earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering,” he said.

When he’s not working, Cunningham enjoys going to the gym, running, watching baseball, spending time with family, and supporting his alma mater.

“I’m a UCF football season ticket holder and I’m at almost every home game,” he said. “Go Knights!”

Cunningham said he is excited for what the future holds in the field of transportation and hopes to leave his mark on Central Florida’s transportation solutions.

“I’m looking forward to helping create solutions for future roadway impacts,” Cunningham said. “This could be things such as future Brightline traffic impacts, future impacts of I-4 Beyond the Ultimate, hurricane evacuation plans, and special events that draw a large number of motorists.”


Video Shows How ChampionsGate Diverging Diamond Interchange Works

Click on image above to view video.

The interchange at Interstate 4 (I-4) and County Road (C.R.) 532 near ChampionsGate shifted into a diverging diamond interchange (DDI) traffic pattern in mid-July. The DDI has fewer traffic signal phases and allows motorists to turn left without crossing traffic, so improvements at the interchange are already noticeable. Work will continue at the interchange into the fall so that crews can add bicycle and pedestrian features, intelligent transportation system (ITS) technology, signage, signalization, curbs, and landscaping.

The above updated video from the project provides a view of what the interchange looks like now and explains how the DDI functions and what drivers need to know in this type of traffic pattern.


E.E. Williamson Road Bridge Replacement Project Wins Award


An I-4 Beyond the Ultimate project completed in 2021 has won statewide recognition for excellence in construction.

Hubbard Construction Company, the contractor for the E.E. Williamson Road bridge replacement project, received a 2022 Best in Construction Award from the Florida Transportation Builders’ Association (FTBA). The project replaced the existing bridge over Interstate 4 (I-4) in Seminole County with a brand-new structure more than 25 feet wider than its predecessor. The project was part of the Florida Department of Transportation’s (FDOT’s) I-4 Beyond the Ultimate improvements in Seminole County.

The new overpass includes:

  • 12-foot-wide traffic lanes in both directions;
  • 6-foot-wide bicycle lanes on the outside of both traffic lanes;
  • A 6-foot-wide sidewalk on the south side;
  • A 10-foot-wide trail on the north side, which improved access to the Seminole Wekiva Trail; and
  • A raised median separating the eastbound and westbound travel lanes.

To minimize disruption, FDOT created a construction plan that allowed workers to alternate between building portions of the new bridge and demolishing parts of the existing structure. In this way, the crossing remained open to both eastbound and westbound traffic throughout construction.

FTBA selects Best in Construction Award winners in partnership with FDOT. FDOT District Offices nominate FTBA contractor members for awards in 16 categories each year. The FDOT State Construction Office then assembles a committee to review the nominations.

“On behalf of FTBA, I’m honored to highlight the companies and individuals who worked on and created the most innovative, complex, and impactful projects around our state and present them a Best in Construction award,” said FTBA President Ananth Prasad. “These companies upheld the highest standards as they worked to improve our transportation systems throughout Florida.”