Florida's Legislature and Governor Rick Scott have given the Florida DOT approval to move forward with the procurement process for the I-4 Ultimate Project in Central Florida as a Public-Private Partnership (P3).

FDOT Secretary Ananth Prasad said the $2.1 billion project will replace and expand a 21-mile portion of I-4 which was originally built in the 1960s and runs a east-west orientation from Tampa on the west coast to I-95 on the east coast north of Daytona.

It will include 56 new bridges, 68 replacements, 13 modifications and reconstruction of 15 major interchanges.

"Our goal is to have financial close on the project by the summer of 2014 with construction beginning later that year or early in 2015."

According to FDOT, the project brings innovation to relieve congestion by adding four Managed Lanes or tolled Express lanes to I-4, running from West of Kirkman Road to East of SR 434.
The Managed Lanes which add capacity to I-4 are intended for longer distances and use variable tolling or 'congestion pricing.' The project also includes six general purpose lanes and two auxiliary lanes.

Steve Olson, an FDOT spokesman, says that about half of the $2.1 billion will be sought from the private sector.

Additionally, despite the notoriety Governor Scott received from his decision in 2011 to reject $2.3 billion in federal funding to develop high speed rail between Orlando and Tampa, the current project allows "some flexibility for the Light Rail Corridor in the 21 mile section" and that may expedite access by rail to Orlando International Airport.

Upon completion by 2020-21 average daily traffic projections on various segments of the 21.1 mile project range from 30,000 to 47,000.

For more information:Central FL's I-4 Project.