Crane operators have set the last tub girder segment at the I-4 and S.R. 408 interchange in downtown Orlando, marking a critical moment of progress for the busiest junction in the 21-mile I-4 Ultimate project.
While work continues on the complex interchange, all flyover ramps are now in place. The goal of the new ramps is to provide efficient and safe connectivity, without the weaving in-and-out of merging traffic to reach an exit or merge ramp, as is the case with the older I-4 design—still in use as new construction continues.
At 120 ft high at its highest point, intricate flyover bridging is becoming a signature landmark of the I-4 Ultimate project.
The resources required to get to this point include 52.3 miles of pile driven into the ground; 44,600 cu yd of concrete poured; 10.5 million lb of rebar (steel rods) used as support; and 36.6 million lb of structural steel used, according to the Florida DOT.
The construction team’s goal is to have the ramps in service by the middle of next year. To meet that goal, work continues both day and night, including pouring more concrete, installing barrier walls, and smoothing and grooving the concrete surface so it drains properly and offers good traction.
SGL Constructors—the joint venture working on the project—is continuing to open newly placed roadways and bridges throughout the project, including the all-new Grand National Drive overpass, and is targeting this summer to open elevated bridges through downtown Orlando.
News of this progress on the I-4 Ultimate comes about a month after reports surfaced that the project's timeline was behind schedule by nearly nine months. Reports said that I-4 Mobility Partners had given the Florida DOT a project completion date of Sept. 23, 2021, a delay of around 260 days.
In addition, the project made headlines in February of this year when three workers were injured when they fell 15 ft from an elevated platform on the jobsite. Earlier in the same month, a worker also was killed after being struck by a 20-ft-long iron pipe.
SOURCE: Florida DOT / Schwartz Media Strategies