HankStrong

I4 - Beyond the Ultimate [Pre-construction]

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18 hours ago, I am Reality said:

I understand the arguments for toll-lanes.   Obviously, people can use them in a rush.   And I don't dispute that tolled lanes help with traffic congestion.  In fact, I don't disagree with anything said.  

But many other cities have major highways that are not tolled.  With the I-4 Ultimate project, EVERY highway here locally will be tolled.  I understand drivers can choose or not choose to use the tolled lanes.  By why is everything here tolled? 

It's a tax on drivers.  Everyone is proud of FL's low taxes.  A $5 one-way trip back-and-forth home daily (22-24X/month) is a nearly $3,000 tax per year.  That $5 figure is likely conservative.  

I remember people were upset when the East-West Expressway tolls were raised.  By 50 cents.  

I've honestly never heard anyone argue FOR higher tolls. 

Let the state and federal governments contribute more to local highway projects.  It has happened in every other city . . . since the Eisenhower administration.   We are not a second-rate city undeserving of our portion of public spending.   We were told a non-tolled I-4 expansion would cost too much.  People often make excuses for a second-rate (maybe third-rate) transit system.  Anything else would be too expensive.   Why would anyone EVER take that position?  It sells our whole city short.  If we are going to think like that, we will never get anything.   It's another example of having really low expectations, while other cities DEMAND more.  

 

I think you have a valid point on how we have not been getting our fair share of state/federally funded "free" roads and I've complained about that on here before. And if they do just go and raise 408 tolls by 50 cents, I'd be against that as well. I'm generally against all tax increases, I think there is enough waste already and things can be reorganized to offer better service without charging more.

I just think the congestion pricing lanes offer a really unique, better way to solve the problem. It really gives the people a choice, and the price isn't just said to take money from the tax payers, its set to cause the roadway to flow at an optimal speed and carry an optimal number of cars, which means adding 2 lanes to I-4 without the congestion pricing would add much less capacity to the roadway then the same project with it. A 5 lane highway where all lanes are congested carries many less cars then a 2 uncongested lanes and 3 congested lanes.

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It was untrue, as we learned when a Republican county like Duval (Jacksonville) voted to remove the tolls on the bridges and replace it with a sales tax increase. (Needless to say, the citizenry was not pleased when FDOT recently decided to add rolled Lexus Lanes to their freeways. Neither were the good folks of Republican Seminole County when the Florida Turnpike Enterprise -which runs the Seminole portion of FL 417 - decided it would be a good idea to expand by adding Lexus Lanes and charging additional tolls on an already tolled facility. Let's be clear - tolls on top of tolls!)

 Unfortunately, the academic remained in its ivory tower on this and remained complicit. There is certainly a case to be made for congestion pricing, but it needs to be limited to highly congested downtown urban areas, not broad swaths of an MSA.

 

 

I think the Seminole 417 toll within a toll was a bit more complicated then that... many felt the said portion of highway doesn't have real serious traffic problems in the first place, so we're spending all this money for potential future problems and gonna have higher tolls with it. I also think the Seminole county folks really missed an argument there that could have really made it a win-win situation for everyone... demand, especially given our areas lack of gas tax funded highways thats was previously mentioned, demand that the FDOT/FTE convert the existing lanes to be free as a right for being able to charge whatever they want (congestion pricing without limits) on the paid lanes throughout the portion of the project getting those lanes. It probably would have resulted in an increase in traffic for the free lanes, making the paid lanes more necessary and providing all the aforementioned benefits of the freeway systems. I'm sure if that was the solution proposed, almost everyone would have been on board with it. Orlando really should have fought harder to say the Wekvia Parkway should have been required to have free lanes throughout the project bounds, even if they wanted toll lanes in the middle of it.

I definetely will appreciate having express lanes all the way through the metro when beyond the ultimate is completed. There is no reason that only downtown urban areas are the only ones that need improvement in traffic flow, or could benefit from an optional premium price that subsidizes the free lanes.

Miami/South Florida is well on their way of adding express lanes to pretty much every highway down there. They got free lanes on most too, but it is working down there.

Edited by aent
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Overpass above Garland/South St, and overall interchange

 

 

20180622 Inked20180622_115208_LI.jpg

20180622_144011.jpg

Edited by jrs2
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Do we know if these ramps will be similar in height to the Turnpike/Webster (FL 429) interchange? Oh my, I can be a tall fanboy too...who knew? *giggles*

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34 minutes ago, spenser1058 said:

Do we know if these ramps will be similar in height to the Turnpike/Webster (FL 429) interchange? Oh my, I can be a tall fanboy too...who knew? *giggles*

I believe so, isn't it supposed to be 4 levels of interchanges? I believe it will end up being more ramps then that one as well (I still never saw the exact plans for the direct 408 to I-4 express flyover ramps), so roadgeeks can rejoice!

 

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7 minutes ago, aent said:

I believe so, isn't it supposed to be 4 levels of interchanges? I believe it will end up being more ramps then that one as well (I still never saw the exact plans for the direct 408 to I-4 express flyover ramps), so roadgeeks can rejoice!

 

Very cool. Thanks!

 

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21 minutes ago, aent said:

I believe so, isn't it supposed to be 4 levels of interchanges? I believe it will end up being more ramps then that one as well (I still never saw the exact plans for the direct 408 to I-4 express flyover ramps), so roadgeeks can rejoice!

Coming into downtown Miami on 95...

95sdtmiami.png

95sdtmiami2.png

Will this be I-4 eastbound at the 408 soon?

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Channel 9 news is reporting today that work is scheduled to resume on the 408 "ramp to nowhere"...

ramptonowhere.jpg

... a westbound ramp that was begun ten years ago and never completed.

According to Channel 9...

"Once the bridge is built, it will be the tallest of six new bridges for the whole interchange, standing more than 200 feet above the ground.

FDOT said the project should be done in three years."

408wtoi4w.png

The ramp will connect 408 west to I-4 west.

Should offer a pretty impressive view of downtown.

For the passengers anyway.

Those who are driving won't be able to do much looking.

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Driving by the most recent construction I was surprised by how close the off ramp from I4 west goes to the Amway Center - it's going to feel like you can reach out the passenger window and touch it!

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14 hours ago, Universe_Explorer said:

Driving by the most recent construction I was surprised by how close the off ramp from I4 west goes to the Amway Center - it's going to feel like you can reach out the passenger window and touch it!

Yea it was on purpose.  The Geico garage is curved to follow the proposed ramp sort of like how OUC hugs the other ramp.

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6 hours ago, HankStrong said:

I still annoy my wife by threatening to go DUKE BOYS on that stalled ramp.

...or the Illinois Nazis from The Blues Brothers

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3 hours ago, IAmFloridaBorn said:

This is crazy looking. My gosh.

In what way?  It's a pretty standard stack interchange except 408E --> I4 E is a tight cloverleaf

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Someone with Growthspotter access may have more details...

Growthspotter reports that FDOT is preparing the take 40 acres adjacent to I-4 on Palm Parkway for an extensive  retention pond.  What this means is that the "Otown West" development is dead in the water, despite it being under contract.

One has to wonder if the power of FDOT over cities and counties is doing more harm than good.

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5 hours ago, prahaboheme said:

Someone with Growthspotter access may have more details...

Growthspotter reports that FDOT is preparing the take 40 acres adjacent to I-4 on Palm Parkway for an extensive  retention pond.  What this means is that the "Otown West" development is dead in the water, despite it being under contract.

One has to wonder if the power of FDOT over cities and counties is doing more harm than good.

Well, its only part of O-Town West, specifically a storage facility, a doctors office, and a strip mall section that was calling itself Crossroads 2.0, since the original Crossroads is supposed to close at the end of 2019 as they sold to FDOT so the tenants need a new spot. Now this new strip mall won't be it, but I'm sure it will be replaced. Considering they were considering double decking I-4 in this area, its not a huge surprise, that would cost a fortune of money (the plan was to elevate the express lanes if I remember correctly)

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12 minutes ago, aent said:

Well, its only part of O-Town West, specifically a storage facility, a doctors office, and a strip mall section that was calling itself Crossroads 2.0, since the original Crossroads is supposed to close at the end of 2019 as they sold to FDOT so the tenants need a new spot. Now this new strip mall won't be it, but I'm sure it will be replaced. Considering they were considering double decking I-4 in this area, its not a huge surprise, that would cost a fortune of money (the plan was to elevate the express lanes if I remember correctly)

This story doesn't really make sense.  The owner just spent weeks clearing that land.  Shouldn't he have known the land would be part of the Beyond plan?  

I would expect a court challenge to the taking.

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Just now, I am Reality said:

This story doesn't really make sense.  The owner just spent weeks clearing that land.  Shouldn't he have known the land would be part of the Beyond plan?  

I would expect a court challenge to the taking.

According to the owner, they believed FDOT was just taking like 4 acres to have room for a new ramp, and not 40 acres; apparently more room then anticipated is needed for I-4 Ultimate's drainage requirements, which FDOT discovered while working to finalize construction plans for this section, which is supposed to be done at the end of the year. Even with this 40 acres, there is still not enough drainage/retention according to the article. He found out mid-June, after clearing work already commenced.

It does sound like he has already hired a lawyer as well to fight the value of the land, he wants to be compensated for the value of everything under contract, not the current value of the empty land. That does sound fair. I'd expect those who have the land under contract and have spent money designing for it to be compensated for that as well.

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10 minutes ago, aent said:

According to the owner, they believed FDOT was just taking like 4 acres to have room for a new ramp, and not 40 acres; apparently more room then anticipated is needed for I-4 Ultimate's drainage requirements, which FDOT discovered while working to finalize construction plans for this section, which is supposed to be done at the end of the year. Even with this 40 acres, there is still not enough drainage/retention according to the article. He found out mid-June, after clearing work already commenced.

It does sound like he has already hired a lawyer as well to fight the value of the land, he wants to be compensated for the value of everything under contract, not the current value of the empty land. That does sound fair. I'd expect those who have the land under contract and have spent money designing for it to be compensated for that as well.

I agree, but that could get messy.  

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On 7/13/2018 at 6:17 PM, aent said:

According to the owner, they believed FDOT was just taking like 4 acres to have room for a new ramp, and not 40 acres; apparently more room then anticipated is needed for I-4 Ultimate's drainage requirements, which FDOT discovered while working to finalize construction plans for this section, which is supposed to be done at the end of the year. Even with this 40 acres, there is still not enough drainage/retention according to the article. He found out mid-June, after clearing work already commenced.

It does sound like he has already hired a lawyer as well to fight the value of the land, he wants to be compensated for the value of everything under contract, not the current value of the empty land. That does sound fair. I'd expect those who have the land under contract and have spent money designing for it to be compensated for that as well.

This is very common with people who own land that know is going to be taken by eminent domain.  There's vacant land and when it's time to buy RW the owner will hire a developer to quickly make announcements, draft plans, file for WMD permitting and even clear land to "prove" they intended on developing the land rather than let it sit vacant to force FDOT pay top dollar.  It happens all the time.  FDOTs plans have been on the website for quite some time.  It's no secret.

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Is this the land just north of the Darrel Carter overpass?  I drove past today and they have tons of storm pipe stacked up.  They appear to be doing more than just clearing the land.  Getting permits and maybe doing some clearing before FDOT pays is common but this seems to be different.

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7 hours ago, gibby said:

Is this the land just north of the Darrel Carter overpass?  I drove past today and they have tons of storm pipe stacked up.  They appear to be doing more than just clearing the land.  Getting permits and maybe doing some clearing before FDOT pays is common but this seems to be different.

Agreed, especially as the developer here had an expectation and tolerance of some eminent domain happening, they left 4 acres available for the taking because thats what was on the plan as that was needed for ramp expansion, and FDOT changed its drainage requirements after the project started.

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