Board Approves $5.9B, 40-year Funding Plan for I-4 Ultimate Project

Posted on: July 10, 2013 in MetroPlan Orlando Board, Transportation News

Regional transportation board’s approval of public-private partnership plan allows FDOT to build the project 20 years sooner than through traditional funding streams. 

At today’s meeting, the MetroPlan Orlando board approved the Florida Department of Transportation’s (FDOT) funding plan for the I-4 Ultimate Project. The project will be built through a 40-year public-private partnership and will cost $5.9 billion to design, build, finance, operate and maintain.

“Today was an historic day for our board. I-4 is the backbone of Central Florida’s transportation system and this approval will allow it to be widened for the last time,” said MetroPlan Orlando Chairman and City of Orlando Commissioner Daisy W. Lynum.  “Because of declining gas tax revenues, public-private partnerships are the only way large projects like this will be built in the future.”

The public-private partnership will allow FDOT to share financial risk with a team of private companies, who will finance a portion of the project – much like a home mortgage. The plan includes federal, state, local and private funding sources. Four express toll lanes, which will be added to the existing free lanes on I-4, will fund more than half the project during a 40-year partnership period.

The I-4 Ultimate project will completely reconstruct and widen I-4 through a 21-mile stretch, from west of Kirkman Road to east of SR 434. Construction is expected to take approximately six years, completing around the year 2020. The project includes reconstruction of 15 major interchanges, 56 new bridges and 71 bridge replacements. As mentioned, express toll lanes will be added and toll rates on the lanes will be adjusted throughout the day to ensure cars in the lanes can maintain an average speed of at least 50 miles per hour. The more congestion there is, the higher the toll will be to guarantee that toll payers are getting the convenience they are paying for. Similar express lanes are already in use on I-95 in South Florida.

Upcoming project milestones include:

  • Later this year: Release of final request for proposal
  • Early 2014: Proposals are due and will include specific designs and finance options; FDOT will then select a team based on its financial and technical proposals
  • Fall 2014: Notice to proceed for design
  • End of 2014: Construction begins

Get more information on the I-4 Ultimate project here.

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