Innovative Interchange Design Improves Traffic Flow

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) looks for innovative ways to continue improving safety and mobility on Florida’s roads.

“We have had a lot of growth in Central Florida in the last couple of years. As a result, there is congestion on heavily used roads such as State Road 535 in the Lake Buena Vista area,” said Su Hao, P.E., FDOT Project Manager. “To combat this congestion, we needed to look at innovative ways to improve traffic flow.”

An echelon interchange is an innovative design that is typically used where two busy streets intersect. It resembles half of a flyover intersection, with one direction of the busier road elevated, while the other direction meets the intersecting road at ground level. Ramps to and from the elevated road provide drivers access between the elevated and ground-level roads.

The two-level design of the intersection allows traffic signals to be programmed from four phases like at a typical signalized intersection down to two or three. This means the signals will be green longer, allowing more vehicles to move through the intersection. The innovative design increases safety, because it removes some left turns across oncoming traffic, reducing the number of conflict points.

An echelon interchange also increases safety for pedestrians. The elevated portion of the roadway means pedestrians are crossing fewer lanes of traffic on a busy road.

For more information about innovative interchange designs planned for I-4 Beyond the Ultimate, visit