SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. – Representatives from I-4 Ultimate recently held a public open house to talk to the community about the progress and future of the Ultimate project. This open house took place in Altamonte Springs, which has been a hot spot of the Big Drive and a challenge for local businesses and residents.
“I think it's great. I really do. The more information people have the better off they know they are,"Altamonte Springs resident Sue Martin said.
“I think it's very smart that they do this and I'm really pleased to see that so many people are interested," Maitland resident Harriet Freeman said.
Residents and commuters also weighed in on their thoughts about the project.
“It's a little difficult traveling on the road now because they have remodeled the lanes and you have to really be alert and watch what you're doing,” one concerned citizen said.
Area businesses had their own thoughts on the project.
“I work for 7-11 and we came out with some of the franchises that have stores near the I-4 Ultimate interchange so we want to come out and just get all the information that we could,
to be able to direct our customers and let them know what's going on when the intersections change," Tonya Falso said during the open house.
It was a large group in attendance at a public meeting to answer questions about I-4 Ultimate.
“We've had a couple public meetings in the past. We had a large turnout so we wanted to come back and make sure we're answered all the questions to the public," Jessica Ottaviano, public information specialist for the Florida Department of Transportation said.
This open house focused on the current state and future plans for the Big Drive in Seminole County.
“So we actually have the full plans for the entire corridor and then we also have specific plans for this specific area in Seminole County. This way people can go right up to a plan sheet and say,’This is where I live. What's going on here?'" Ottaviano said.
Despite the frustrations of construction, overall feedback was positive.
“We'll probably have a little bit of growing pains through the expansion, but ultimately I think it's going to only enhance our stores and we had a really good feeling leaving today," Ottaviano said.