Ultimate I-4 update: More than halfway complete but lots of work ahead

Summer 2019 will see more progress to ease congestion between I-4, SR 408

ORLANDO, Fla. – The obstacle course of detours and construction crews that has become the legacy of the I-4 Ultimate Improvement Project is expected to make more progress this summer along eastbound I-4 from Lake Ivanhoe to Lee Road, according to the Florida Department of Transportation.

I-4 Ultimate public information officer David Parks recently told News 6 Central Florida motorists can expect to see a lot of progress over the next six to seven months in the eastbound lanes, bringing up the current I-4 up to the elevation of the new, permanent road.

“Overall, we’re working all 21 miles at one time,” Parks said. “But we still have quite a bit of work to go.”

Parks outlined recent and upcoming FDOT project milestones:

September 2018: shifting of eastbound Maitland Boulevard onto new elevated lanes.
December 2018: placement of the bridge girder for the top level bridge at the I-4 and State Road 408 interchange.
January 2019: shifting of permanent eastbound I-4 lanes between Maitland Blvd. and Central Parkway.

“We’re getting ready to start year No. 4 of the project, and it puts us at about the halfway point, 62 percent complete,” Parks said.

Feb. 15. will mark the fourth year of the I-4 Ultimate project.

FDOT reports daily traffic flow ranges between 140 and 200,000 vehicles through the interchange.

Parks said the “pinch points” between eastbound and westbound I-4 come together forcing drivers to literally crisscross to get on SR 408.

“What this project does is create a direct ramp to each one of those directions,” Parks said. “And really streamlines the way traffic gets through this area."

FDOT officials said overall, the project is where it should be with some areas further along than others.

A location that seems to be evolving quickly is the attractions area near Kirkman Road where crews have already planted landscaping.

“(It's) a little bit further along than we are at 408 but where we are in our time line and our goals is where we want to be," Parks said.

FDOT officials told News 6 with the progress, there will be additional adjustments for drivers but engineers have created a safe work zone to keep traffic and the project moving forward.

The completed project, one of the largest in the country, will cost about $2.3 billion and is estimated to be completed by 2021.

For more information on I-4 Ultimate, go to visit I-4Ultimate.com.

About the Author:

News 6’s Emmy Award-winning Investigative Reporter Mike Holfeld has made Central Florida history with major investigations that have led to new policies, legislative proposals and even -- state and national laws. If you have an issue or story idea, call Mike's office at 407-521-1322.