The Interstate 4 (I-4) and Daryl Carter Parkway interchange is an interim project of I-4 Beyond the Ultimate. The project is transforming the Daryl Carter Parkway overpass into an interchange, providing additional access to local attractions and helping to relieve congestion at the I-4 and Apopka Vineland Road (State Road (S.R.) 535) interchange.
This interim project will add three new ramps connecting I-4 to Daryl Carter Parkway: exit ramps from both directions of I-4 to Daryl Carter Parkway and an entrance ramp to eastbound I-4. A westbound I-4 entrance ramp will be built as part of a future project. It will also convert the existing Daryl Carter Parkway overpass to a diverging diamond interchange.
The project also includes I-4 improvements from west of Daryl Carter Parkway to west of Central Florida Parkway. Construction is underway of a single, buffer-separated, managed lane from west of Daryl Carter Parkway to west of Central Florida Parkway. This managed lane will be constructed in three separate projects with the finished lane extending from west of Sand Lake Road to west of S.R. 536.
The project began in November 2022 and is expected to be complete by early 2026.
I-4 and Daryl Carter Parkway Interchange Improvements Handout
I-4 and Daryl Carter Parkway Interchange Design Poster Board
I-4 and Daryl Carter Parkway Interchange Before-and-After Poster Board
I-4 and Daryl Carter Parkway Interchange Bike and Pedestrian Features Poster Board
Diverging Diamond Interchange Display Board
Informational and Design Documents
Virtual Tour: Future interchanges at Sand Lake Road and Daryl Carter Parkway
Want to explore 3D models of the diverging diamond interchanges at I-4/Sand Lake Road and I-4/Daryl Parkway? Experience a virtual tour of the planned improvements.
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Mechanically Stabilized Earth (MSE) Retaining Walls on the Rise at Daryl Carter Parkway
Since much of the initial work on a road construction job takes place behind the scenes and under the ground, it’s always exciting to see the first signs of above-ground progress. For I-4 Beyond the Ultimate’s Interstate 4 (I-4) at Daryl Carter Parkway Interchange project, which got underway in November 2022, that first visible formation is the start of construction of an exit ramp leading drivers from westbound I-4 to Daryl Carter Parkway.
Each of the project’s three new ramps (one exit ramp from each direction of I-4 and one eastbound entrance ramp from Daryl Carter Parkway) will be constructed with “mechanically stabilized earth” (MSE) retaining walls. This dramatic design consists of interlocking concrete panels and attached reinforcement straps that restrain and strengthen the material on which roadways and interstate structures stand.
Each row of panels is locked into place with the help of a crane. The reinforcement straps are run through loops embedded in the backs of the panels. These are laid out on the ground in a zig-zag arrangement, then staked down at the ends. Next, workers use heavy machinery to compress highly compactable sand behind the panels and atop the straps. This process is repeated until the MSE walls and layers of sand are built up to the desired elevation.
The concrete panels fit together like puzzle pieces and can be arranged in a variety of eye-catching geometric patterns. As a last step, the panels are painted. MSE walls already constructed along the I-4 Ultimate and I-4 Beyond the Ultimate corridor — like the ones at the I-4 and Kirkman Road (State Road (S.R.) 435) interchange — all utilize cohesive brown and sand tones.
In addition to the new ramps being constructed at Daryl Carter Parkway, the new interchange is being transformed into a diverging diamond interchange. Construction of a single, buffer-separated, westbound express lane in the center of I-4 between Central Florida Parkway and Daryl Carter Parkway is also part of this project.
Fire Rescue Drill at Daryl Carter Parkway Keeps Crews Prepared
July 21 was no ordinary day at the Daryl Carter Parkway interchange project construction site. Construction crew members and the Orange County Special Operations Fire Rescue squad completed drill training to prepare for emergency incidents at construction sites.
Roberto Corchado, lead trainer of the Orange County Special Operations squad’s training division, and Kenny Wooten, a project superintendent, selected two training scenarios: a high-angle rescue and a crush rescue. “We were looking for things we don’t see on a daily basis,” Wooten said.
Construction crew members and engineers became actors. Then the stage was set with a crash dummy’s lower half crushed underneath a concrete pile and another hanging from a ladder located in a deep pit. The actors discovered the scene and called for help. The rescue squad arrived within minutes, saving both victims simultaneously.
The crash dummy dangling in the deep pit required a rope rescue response. The squad used ropes held by members above while one rescuer rappelled down into the pit. The rescuer carefully disentangled the dummy’s legs from the ladder and secured it with a rope. Rope pullers assisted the rescuer in lifting the dummy up and out of the pit.
The squad’s first attempt to remove the crush victim from beneath a fallen concrete pile involved an on-site construction crane and its operator. When the crane broke down (a planned curveball), the team quicky came up with plan B and brought out a high-pressure airbag. As the airbag lifted the concrete pile, rescuers used wood they gathered from the site to stabilize it with a technique known as cribbing. Applied together, the airbag and cribbing ensured a safe and successful rescue.
The final act for the day involved the construction team and Special Operations Fire Rescue Squad closing out the group with lessons learned from the event. The squad was able to complete its emergency response in 24 minutes total time, which was deemed a success.
“We’re constant learners. Those who don’t train [hard] don’t last long,” Corchado said.
Drills like this help ensure the Orange County Special Operations Fire Rescue squad is prepared to address a wide range of potential safety scenarios on active construction sites.
Overhead View Shows Progress at Daryl Carter Parkway
The Interstate 4 (I-4) and Daryl Carter Parkway interchange project is progressing smoothly and on schedule with an expected completion timeframe of early 2026.
The project is transforming the Daryl Carter Parkway overpass into a diverging diamond interchange, providing additional access to local attractions and helping to relieve congestion at the I-4 and Apopka-Vineland Road (State Road (S.R.) 535) interchange.
The project is adding three new ramps connecting I-4 to Daryl Carter Parkway: exit ramps from both directions of I-4 to Daryl Carter Parkway and an entrance ramp to eastbound I-4. A westbound I-4 entrance ramp will be built as part of a future project.
Look at the above drone video of the project’s progress, taken in June. In the foreground of the video, you can see construction crews driving piles for the new eastbound I-4 ramp structure. In the area across I-4, the construction of new retention ponds is visible, as well as a staging ground for materials to build the new ramps. Workers are also in the I-4 median under Daryl Carter Parkway installing drainage and laying the groundwork for the upcoming westbound extension of I-4 Express.
Pile Driving Begins at Daryl Carter Parkway Improvement Project
Every major structure built as part of the I-4
Beyond the Ultimate project requires a solid
foundation to ensure it will last for years to come.
A key part of these foundations is underground
pillars made of concrete or steel, otherwise known
as “piles.” Piles often need to be placed more than
100 feet underground to provide safe, stable
foundations for bridges and overpasses.
Pile driving is typically done in two ways. The
first involves “vibrating” the piles into the
ground. In the second method, if the soil is soft
and loose, piles can be shaken into the ground,
rather than driven, using a hydraulic or
diesel-powered hammer. Vibratory pile is also
effective at installing sheet pile, which supports
However, even when using the vibratory method, it
may be necessary to use a pile-driving hammer to set
the piles in place at the end of the process. The
impact of a hammer to the top of the pile drives the
steel or concrete pile through dense underground
layers to the required design elevation.
If you reside near pile driving activity you may
hear the pile-driving hammer and sometimes notice
ground vibration. The Florida Department of
Transportation (FDOT) Standard Specification 108
details the contractor’s responsibility to monitor
vibration and settlement. If excessive vibration is
encountered, countermeasures will be implemented.
Most pile driving takes place during the day to
minimize impact to nearby residents. To mitigate
disturbances while still ensuring accuracy and
stability, inspectors utilize tools such as
vibration sensors to carefully monitor levels of
vibration, along with the number of blows it takes
to reach a certain level. Vibration levels can be
affected by the type of soil, the building
structure, and a person’s location. Noise levels may
fluctuate due to proximity to the pile driving and
the type of structure the person is inside.
Recently, pile driving started in mid-January near
the improvement project that is transforming the
Daryl Carter Parkway overpass into a Diverging
Diamond Interchange (DDI) as part of the I-4 Beyond
the Ultimate project. Nearby residents and
businesses were informed of the pile driving in
advance to prepare them for the process.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding pile
driving activity, please