ORLANDO, Fla. – Drivers on I-4 may have noticed the large concrete tower that has recently gone up near Lake Ivanhoe.
“We've heard from a lot of folks it's 90 feet tall, so it definitely stands out against the landscape here at Lake Ivanhoe," David Parks, public information officer, I-4 Ultimate, said.
It's certainly a new sight for the I-4 corridor. But what exactly is it?
“The concrete pylon behind me is a direct connection pylon. It's a visual indicator letting drivers know where they can get directly into the express lanes from the surface street," Parks said.
This pylon was designed with two objectives in mind, the first is to mark those upcoming express lane access points.
“Within the I-4 Ultimate construction project, we have two dedicated express lanes in each direction. Those are paid toll lanes that are variably priced to maintain 50-miles an hour," Parks said.
These express lanes are all part of the design to improve how we move on the interstate. The pylon by Lake Ivanhoe is part of that plan.
“We have two ways to get into those express lanes. You can get there from I-4 from the non-tolled lanes and slide over into the express lanes in designated locations. We also have direct connection ramps like this that we have constructed behind us here that will let you get for arterial roads directly into the express lanes without first having to merge with the non-tolled traffic on I-4," Parks said.
That's the first objective, the second is to augment the overall design of the Ultimate project and set it apart from the other roads in Central Florida.
“This is again one of those nice big architectural signature corridor monuments that's being built as part of this project," Parks said.
This is the first pylon to go up, but there are plans for several more by project completion in 2021.