I-4 Beyond the Ultimate Reached Key Milestones in 2023

As 2023 draws to a close, it’s time to pause for a moment to look back over what the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) accomplished in the past year. Among the highlights were the celebration of the opening of a new diverging diamond interchange (DDI) early in the year, and a few months later, groundbreaking on another project to improve safety and mobility with the installation of another new DDI.

ChampionsGate Boulevard (County Road (C.R.) 532): February saw the completion and opening of the new DDI at ChampionsGate Boulevard and Interstate 4 (I-4). The innovative project was designed to improve safety and mobility in the ChampionsGate area. In addition to the new DDI, improvements include widening the exit and entrance ramps to I-4 to increase capacity, eliminating the left turn from southbound Goodman Road to C.R. 532, adding a wrong way vehicle detection system (WWVDS), and repaving throughout the area.

I-4 in Osceola County: Work is nearly completed on the project to add capacity to I-4 and State Road (S.R.) 429 in Osceola County. The new eastbound I-4 auxiliary lane between the ramps of S.R. 429 and C.R. 532 opened in May, and the westbound auxiliary lane in the same area opened in July. In addition, a new auxiliary lane on S.R. 429 between I-4 and Sinclair Road also opened in the summer.

Daryl Carter Parkway: The new partial interchange at I-4 and Daryl Carter Parkway started to rise out of the ground this year. Underground drainage work continued throughout the project, and over the summer, crews drove pile and built new bridge piers. They also started building the ramps between I-4 and Daryl Carter Parkway and installing mechanically stabilized earth (MSE) walls to support those ramps. The project also includes construction of a single, buffer-separated, express lane from west of Daryl Carter Parkway to west of Central Florida Parkway. This express lane will be constructed in three separate projects with the finished lane extending from west of Sand Lake Road (S.R. 482) to west of S.R. 536.

Sand Lake Road: FDOT broke ground on the Sand Lake Road and I-4 interchange project which will transform the interchange into a DDI by 2027. Crews began work with utility relocations in anticipation of the construction of new ramps and bridges. In November, pile driving began, along with sidewalk and median work to prepare for the changeover to the initial DDI configuration next year. This project also includes reconstructing the I‑4 general use lanes from west of Sand Lake Road to the end of the I‑4 Ultimate project. Two westbound, barrier-separated, express lanes are being built from the existing express lanes near Kirkman Road to west of Sand Lake Road. These will transition to a single, buffer-separated express lane in the westbound direction from west of Sand Lake Road and tie in just west of Central Florida Parkway, connecting to the express lane section being constructed as part of the Daryl Carter Parkway project.

Seminole County: Two projects also began construction along I-4 in Seminole County in late 2023. Work is ongoing at the C.R. 46A (H.E. Thomas Jr. Parkway) and Rinehart Road intersection just east of the I-4 interchange at C.R. 46A. This project is expected to increase traffic efficiency at the intersection while reducing congestion onto the interchange. The enhancements will increase capacity by modifying select existing turn lanes and adding new turn lanes. A third lane will also be added to southbound Rinehart Road between C.R. 46A and Timacuan Boulevard.

The second Seminole County project is taking place at the I-4 and U.S. 17-92 interchange. This project is expected to increase safety at the interchange by improving sight distance for motorists, upgrading sidewalks for pedestrians and bicyclists, and reducing the speed limit from 50 mph to 35 mph. The improvements will include adding a pedestrian-activated crossing signal at the end of the eastbound I‑4 exit ramp.

Additionally, an auxiliary lane will be added on eastbound U.S. 17-92 between the westbound I‑4 exit ramp and Monroe Road. A second right turn lane will be added to U.S. 17-92 when driving east to continue south on U.S. 17-92/Monroe Road. The dual right-turn-only lanes will stop at the signalized intersection with Seminole Boulevard, replacing the existing free-flow right turn. A right turn lane will be added from southbound U.S. 17-92/Monroe Road to the eastbound I‑4 entrance ramp, and a left turn lane will be added from westbound Seminole Boulevard to U.S. 17-92/Monroe Road to drive south.

As we celebrate the accomplishments of 2023 and look forward to 2024, FDOT wishes everyone a safe and joyous holiday season. We also remind you to drive safely in work zones to make sure everyone enjoys the festivities with their families and loved ones.