With the Florida Dept. of Transportation's approval last month of the start of construction of the $2.3-billion I-4 Ultimate project in Orlando, state officials—led by Gov. Rick Scott (R)—held a ceremonial groundbreaking for the state's largest-ever public-private partnership. The start of construction will bring a surge of activity. During 2015 alone, the Skanska-led construction joint venture—known as SGL Constructors—will implement an estimated $500 million worth of engineering and construction work throughout the 21-mile-long project, says the contractor.
The project's scope includes reconfiguring 15 major intersections, replacing more than 140 bridges and adding two tolled express lanes in each direction for all 21 miles. FDOT expects completion in 2021.
During the coming year, SGL—comprising Skanska USA Civil Southeast, Granite Construction and Lane Construction—will work concurrently on four segments, including a 5.3-mile section in the "attractions" area; a 4.9-mile section from Ivanhoe Road to Kennedy Boulevard; and a 6.2-mile-long section in Altamonte Springs. But SGL project director Brook Brookshire says the most challenging section will be the 4.1-mile-long downtown stretch, where crews will replace 74 bridges and revamp the I-4/state Road 408 interchange.
FDOT's P3 agreement with the concessionaire, I-4 Mobility Partners, charges the entity with designing, constructing, financing, maintaining and operating the project for 40 years. Upon completion, the concessionaire will earn availability payments, which will start at roughly $75 million.