Posted: May 21, 2015
FDOT is at the forefront of technological innovations and is shaping the way departments of transportation across the country generate new and better value for every transportation dollar invested. The I-4 Ultimate project is no exception. FDOT demanded innovation, and I-4 Mobility Partners delivered, offering 25 approved alternative technical concepts (innovative ideas) and 27 project technical enhancements (enhanced features).
Alternative technical concepts are proposed changes to basic configurations, the project scope, design criteria or construction criteria and provide an approach that is equal to or better than the requirements requested by FDOT. For I-4 Ultimate, I-4 Mobility Partners’ alternative technical concepts focus on:
- Providing greater traffic flow reliability with auxiliary lanes and added movements
- Providing greater consistency in driver expectancy and reduced travel times
- Enhancing driver safety with sight distance improvements and alignments
- Providing better community connections
- Incorporating sustainability features, such as reutilized and recycled materials
- Using better technology to improve long-term operations
I-4/State Road 408 Interchange
A key innovation is the direct connection from the Express Lanes to State Road 408. Required by FDOT, this design feature also provides a direct connection with improved access at South Street. The direct connection does not add another level to the interchange, thereby providing safer construction and maintenance.
Kirkman Road Pedestrian Bridge
This value-added concept provides a pedestrian bridge from various hotels to Universal Studios across Kirkman Road. While this structure will significantly improve pedestrian safety in this busy area, it will also improve traffic operations at the Kirkman interchange because the pedestrian traffic signal will be eliminated.
Maitland Boulevard with Maitland Summit Interchange
I-4 Mobility Partners’ design incorporates an interchange at Maitland Boulevard and Maitland Summit — an area experiencing heavy commuter traffic during morning and evening peak hours. The new interchange will tie into Keller Road, greatly improving the amount of traffic through Maitland Boulevard and reducing delays.
Orange Blossom Trail Interchange
Orange Blossom Trail will become a right-hand exit, and I-4 Mobility Partners further optimized the design by realigning the westbound I-4 exit ramp to sweep further away from the mainline before crossing Orange Blossom Trail. Benefits include reduced noise impacts and a lowered mainline profile.
Michigan-Kaley will become a dual interchange with interconnected ramps, helping to improve travel time and travel delay. At Kaley Avenue, dual right-turn lanes were added from the eastbound exit ramp. The new design will provide significant long-term maintenance and rehabilitation cost savings and even avoid bridge work at the relic sinkhole in Lake Angel.
Additional innovative project features include:
- 11-foot-wide lanes on arterials, including State Road 50 (Colonial Drive), State Road 438 (Princeton Street) and State Road 426 (Fairbanks Avenue)
- Additional auxiliary lanes on eastbound I-4 at Princeton Street to Fairbanks Avenue and an additional auxiliary lane on westbound I-4 at Maitland Boulevard to Lee Road, westbound I-4 at Orange Blossom Trail to Conroy Road and eastbound I-4 at Colonial Drive to Princeton Street
- The use of recycled materials, including existing concrete and limerock, for environmentally friendly design and construction
- The use of edge beams with deck form curbs, which eliminate the overhang portion of the bridge deck
- Installation of maturity meters, which help determine the amount of time needed before the roadway can be used by traffic
- Reconfiguration of the Wymore-Riddle Overpass to improve stopping sight distance (the distance a driver needs to be able to see to have enough room to stop before colliding with an object) and provide enhanced traffic movements
- Formosa Curve stopping sight distance improvements by realigning I-4 and using the median opening at the previous toll gantry location
- Keeping pipes less than 15 years old in place to reduce construction time
- Elimination of the median rail corridor from Central Parkway to EE Williamson Road to improve safety
- Intelligent transportation systems (ITS) operational improvements, including upgrades to high definition CCTV, the use of toll buildings for ITS hubs and the use of toll gantry generators for ITS
- Division-Kaley intersection improvements, including dual right-turn lanes from eastbound Kaley Avenue to Division Avenue and dual left-turn lanes from southbound Division Avenue to Kaley Avenue
- Maintaining the existing Garland Avenue alignment to improve sight distances and pedestrian flow
- Lee Road lane revision that provides an additional left-turn lane to the eastbound I-4 entrance ramp
- State Road 408 westbound reconfiguration that creates improved traffic flow and increases aesthetics