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from the Turnpike website:

MAINLINE TURNPIKE WIDENING PROJECT (MILEPOSTS 260-270)

This $214 project, scheduled to begin in March 2007 and completed by April 2011, adds two lanes in each direction between Interstate 4 and Beulah Road. Construction includes widening the existing bridges over Interstate 4 and Apopka-Vineland Road, replacing the Kirkman Road and Gotha Road bridges over Florida's Turnpike, and replacing the bridge over Beulah Road. Additionally, Florida's Turnpike will make improvements at the Interstate 4, SR 408 and SR 429 interchanges. Auxiliary lanes also will be added between SR 408 and SR 429.

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I'm pretty excited about this project, b/c they are making the TNPK an 8-lane highway from 528 all the way to the 429 interchange, not just to I-4 as I originally thought. what a huge transformation this will have when drivers enter the metro from the north and south. huge. and from what I read in an earlier report, the TNPK will be 6-laned throughout all of Orange County, which means it should be 6 lanes all the way to the SR 50 Oakland exit to the north, and 6-laned all the way and right to the Osceola Parkway exit to the south.

from a [email protected] road to one of CFLA's widest & improved roads. bravo to FDOT.

I say bravo to them too. If they can do it on a $214 budget! You would think they would have had the APV and I-4 bridges widened when they originally constructed them back in 2003 ish.

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"Motorists in downtown Orlando may encounter rolling roadblocks nightly in both directions on Interstate 4 from 11 p.m. until 5 a.m. starting Sunday, Jan. 27, weather permitting. The rolling roadblocks will allow crews to demolish the remaining Anderson Street bridge over westbound I-4. The Anderson Street bridge over eastbound I-4 was recently removed."

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Older news (a week old), but interesting...

Commission recommends hike in gas tax to fund transport improvements

Rep. John Mica:

"While I respect their hard work and efforts, the commission's recommendation of a dramatic increase in the gas tax does not stand a snowball's chance in hell of passing Congress,"

He went on to say that he could support indexing the tax to inflation.

He also suggested

more emphasis be placed on leveraging what funds it gets by issuing bonds and partnering with the private sector to build toll roads

So - taxes bad, tolls and interest payments on bonds, good. To a certain extent I agree on the toll part however. As long as they aren't built to encourage sprawl like they have been here sometimes in Orlando.

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"As part of the I-4/SR 408 Interim Interchange Improvement project, Exit 82B from westbound Interstate 4 to Gore Street will close permanently on Sunday, Feb. 10, 2008. Drivers will be directed to use the westbound I-4 ramp at either South Street (Exit 83) or Kaley Street (81B) if they need to reach Gore Street."

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^^

this illustrates my only gripe with this new interchange. 408 EB to I-4 EB should've been a flyover, not a carbon of what was already there.

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^^

this illustrates my only gripe with this new interchange. 408 EB to I-4 EB should've been a flyover, not a carbon of what was already there.

I don't think they had the traffic counts to justify the cost of a flyover in that direction. Most of the traffic that uses the interchange is Coming from the East.

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from the Turnpike website:

MAINLINE TURNPIKE WIDENING PROJECT (MILEPOSTS 260-270)

This $214 project, scheduled to begin in March 2007 and completed by April 2011, adds two lanes in each direction between Interstate 4 and Beulah Road. Construction includes widening the existing bridges over Interstate 4 and Apopka-Vineland Road, replacing the Kirkman Road and Gotha Road bridges over Florida's Turnpike, and replacing the bridge over Beulah Road. Additionally, Florida's Turnpike will make improvements at the Interstate 4, SR 408 and SR 429 interchanges. Auxiliary lanes also will be added between SR 408 and SR 429.

-------------

I'm pretty excited about this project, b/c they are making the TNPK an 8-lane highway from 528 all the way to the 429 interchange, not just to I-4 as I originally thought. what a huge transformation this will have when drivers enter the metro from the north and south. huge. and from what I read in an earlier report, the TNPK will be 6-laned throughout all of Orange County, which means it should be 6 lanes all the way to the SR 50 Oakland exit to the north, and 6-laned all the way and right to the Osceola Parkway exit to the south.

from a [email protected] road to one of CFLA's widest & improved roads. bravo to FDOT.

I"m extemely excited about this project, I wondered if I'd ever see the day and now it's happening on a much larger urban scale than I imagined. I sounds like it will even have a different look and feel to it than the South Florida portion. This sounds like the turnpike passing through this metropolis of Orlando with Orlando's own unique look and feel. And the sounds walls they have been building make it even more exciting. And can you imaging the westside entry into the metro with that huge LAish 429 interchange and then the 408 interchange being right there next door. I hope they will do something cool with the 417 & TPK interchange whenever that gets built. Then there proposed to be that expressway south of Lake Toho linking to the TPK. I think we are one damn big city and doing our own thing because we are an inland city with 4 directions to grow, while the other Fla cities always have the ocean or a bay in the way.

Has anyone heard any more news about a John Young & TPK exit? I think there should be a new westside exit at either Kirkman, Hiawassee, Apoka-Vineland. I think there could be a chance of western exit at Dillard St, with the new mall one way and downtown WG the other way.

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Between Lake Mary and Altamonte Springs would be a good place for a Highway to go to 75 and 95 and in between. 436 doesn't count because it has lots of Commercial on it going to OIA.

Edited by mgsports

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Isn't a portion of 417 west to east? :D

Doesn't the 414 follow the Seminole/Orange line from east to west? Maitland Blvd and Apopka Bypass. Too bad Seminole has to rely on the TPK for xway construction and are not apart of the OOCEA>>>

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"ORLANDO, FLA., FEB 6 -Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) construction crews plan to permanently close the Gore Street exit ramp from westbound Interstate 4 (Exit 82B) in downtown Orlando at 7 p.m., Sunday Feb. 10. This closure is part of the $118.9 million I-4/SR 408 interim interchange project-the largest I-4 construction project in Central Florida history.

When the project is completed later this year, traffic will be able to reach Gore Street via the ramp being built from westbound I-4 to a new Anderson Street bridge. Since the new Anderson Street bridge will be two-way from Division Avenue to Rosalind Avenue traffic will be able to reach Gore Street via Orange Avenue or Division Avenue.

Since the Gore Street ramp closure is permanent, businesses near Gore Street are encouraged to update any printed materials or Internet pages that direct traffic to their location.

The I-4/SR 408 interim interchange improvements project is a partnership between FDOT and the Orlando-Orange County Expressway Authority (OOCEA). The project which began in April 2006 adds a flyover ramp from each direction of SR 408 to eastbound I-4 that will reduce an existing bottleneck and decrease travel time for commuters. For more information on I-4 improvements visit www.trans4mation.org or call the I-4 Public Information Office toll free at 888-454-4884."

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Just a question to be thrown out there. Why is I-4 the only toll-free freeway in all of Orlando? What in the world is keeping some of these from being untolled. I know the 408 was originally going to untoll it, but because it was OCCEA's "cash cow", they decided not to. I find it odd, its the South's largest city w/o a toll-free interstate loop. This is one reason I hate driving there, that 75 and 50 cents really starts to add up.

It has a lot to do with the fact that when the interstate system was being designed in the 50s and 60s, Orlando was still a small town. We were fortunate in that Martin Andersen and Billy Dial were able to reroute I4 through Orlando (it was originally supposed to go west of town), and to get the Sunshine State Parkway (now Florida's Turnpike) rerouted through Orange County (it was not originally scheduled to go through the interior section of the state at all).

As they passed from the scene, and Orange County became one of the most Republican counties in the state (remember Paula Hawkins and Ed Gurney?), the area lost most of its clout while the Democrats held sway in Tallahassee. By the time our GOP legislative delegation came to have clout in Tallahassee, most of the spending by the feds for the interstate system had concluded. There was alo the problem that the idea of "user fees" (aka tolls) were all the rage as buzzwords and a lot of our wonderful legislators had to walk their talk, even if it wasn't the best idea for the community.

To be honest, I think the era of free limited-access highways has ended. Because of technology and environmental concerns, things like congestion pricing will be more the rule than the exception in the future. Now, not only the libertarian Republicans want people to pay for their use of such highways, so do the left-leaning greens.

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Because probley 408 and so on want your money.

Parts of 441 are a highway and also 19 is but you can't get to Orlando from their I think.

Orlando needs some more West side Highways because it has enoth East side ones.

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Just a question to be thrown out there. Why is I-4 the only toll-free freeway in all of Orlando? What in the world is keeping some of these from being untolled. I know the 408 was originally going to untoll it, but because it was OCCEA's "cash cow", they decided not to. I find it odd, its the South's largest city w/o a toll-free interstate loop. This is one reason I hate driving there, that 75 and 50 cents really starts to add up.

I think when the interstate sytem was planned metro Orlando barely had 200,000 and no real major employer except for some military bases. Orlando had to fight to bring have the turnpike curve away from the coast and connect to I-75. The same with I-4, it was originally supposed to go around the outskirts like I-75 in Ocala and Gainesville. There was a big issue with making I-4 cut through the middle of town. When the space program started up in Cape Canaveral, Brevard county didn't really have the population base to employ the Space Center and lots of people commuted from Orlando to KSC. That's when the Orlando Orange County Expressway Authority was created and the former Bee-Line was built. (Now named The Beachline) or reallly just The 528. When Martin Marietta came to town there became some higher paying jobs. The Expressway Authority decided to build the former East-West Expressway, now The 408. All this time the only large cities in Florida was Jacksonville and Miami and Tampa to some extent. So those areas got all the money and projects for the Interstate system, especially Jacksonville. I believe it was Reagan that finally killed the interstate sytem, except for what was still incomplete. If you notice, almost all expressways that are built now in any cities in the country are toll roads, even Denver, San Diego, Los Angeles, Houston, Dallas, almost the entire state of Oklahoma is tolled whether part of the interstate system or not. Look how long it took Jacksonville to complete a beltway, and the eastern half is a state road, not part of the interstate system. Every city is pretty much on its own as far as expressway construction goes now. There is no way Orlando could have had a beltway that is part of the interstate system when it was planned. That would have been like building an I-275 around Valdosta, GA now. That's how small Orlando was at the planning stages of the system. Personally, I think Orlando's toll roads are beautiful designed and much more asthetically pleasing than a lot of the old interstate highways. I think Orlando has the best expressway system in the state and if not already will soon be the largest. If Jacksonville wants to expand its expressway system now, how are they going to do it? Toll roads are mainly paid for by those who use them. And Orlando has managed to keep some of the lowest per mile toll rates in the country. And when improvements are needed, they can be done almost immediately, not 20 years down the road. And our free interstate 4 project that is beginning to be constructed will be the nicest and most modern intersate in Florida and tops in the country which well makes up for having toll roads. Between Orlando's toll roads and the new I-4 and commuter rail, our transportation system will keep us "The City Beautiful." I would hardly find that a reason to hate coming to Orlando, I personally would think of it as being a city leading the nation in the future of road contruction and the technology of toll collection. Have you seen the new 408 lately? I-95 in Jax is pretty dull, what's up with those aluminum looking sound walls? And I-10 looks to me like it did the day it was built many years ago. It also looks like there isn't much commuter traffic on it, luckily not since it is so old and dated. So to finally answer the question as to why Orlando has so many toll roads is "Vision and Progress" and is headed for even larger status. I see a lot of talk going on between southern cities (Jax and north) in UP and with it's current road system and the looks of it, I can't see Jax competing with Charlotte, Charlotte shows a lot of Vision and Progress in comparison. I think Jax is actually shrinking somewhat in status, seeing most of it's growth is only in one direction and the Orlando CSA included Flagler County which seems like that would be Jacksonville territory, just as Sumter County is part or the Orlando CSA and that would seem like it should be Tampa territory. It won't be many more years before Florida has a big "Atlanta-sized" metro in the heart of the state, and that would not have been possible without the toll roads.

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Just a question to be thrown out there. Why is I-4 the only toll-free freeway in all of Orlando? What in the world is keeping some of these from being untolled. I know the 408 was originally going to untoll it, but because it was OCCEA's "cash cow", they decided not to. I find it odd, its the South's largest city w/o a toll-free interstate loop. This is one reason I hate driving there, that 75 and 50 cents really starts to add up.

I was always under the impression that beltway originally had interstate funding but because of the political mess of land aquirement, the deadline passed without any resolution. Enter the EA decades later and the $$ to build the beltway. I could be wrong though. There's old articles out the wazoo from the 60's and 70's on the EA's website. BTW could you imagine the traffic if the Holland EW Expsway was free?

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Just a question to be thrown out there. Why is I-4 the only toll-free freeway in all of Orlando? What in the world is keeping some of these from being untolled. I know the 408 was originally going to untoll it, but because it was OCCEA's "cash cow", they decided not to. I find it odd, its the South's largest city w/o a toll-free interstate loop. This is one reason I hate driving there, that 75 and 50 cents really starts to add up.

And yes the 50 and 75 cents do add up, my EPASS bill last year was a little over $1000. It's just part of the cost of living in Orlando and well worth it as opposed to many other "large cities in the South." It's a beautiful city and that's the price you pay.

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my relatives live in Chicago and all suburban expressways are toll roads. it is what it is.

as for Orlando, well, what can you do? all I know is that 13 miles of the TNPK from 429 to 528 will be an 8 lane expressway within a couple more years (that's the distance from 295 to the north side of DT Jax along 95... I don't think 95 is even 8 lanes wide in that stretch). The TNPK is not even the 2nd most traveled expressway in town.

Orlando benefits now from the FDOT ala I-4 funding and FDOT TNPK Authority for TNPK and parts of 417 and 528 funding, to compliment the local OOCEA funding sources.

OIA got a new access road and exit off of 528 (551) b/c of $$$ from the OOCEA, new top-notch ramp improvements at 436, and a south exit years ago ala 417.

Sunpass has even been linked into the OIA parking system as an alternative pay source. Toll roads are alright in my book.

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From e-mail:

"Weather permitting, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) plans to open a new flyover ramp in downtown Orlando from eastbound SR 408 to eastbound I-4 during the early morning hours of Tuesday, Feb. 12 in time for Tuesday morning rush hour. This new ramp is part of the I-4/SR 408 Interim Interchange Improvements Project.

With the opening of the new ramp, the existing Exit 10 on eastbound SR 408 to westbound I-4 is being renumbered Exit 10A and will continue to be used by drivers heading to westbound I-4. The new ramp will be numbered Exit 10B, and will only take drivers to eastbound I-4.

For several months, drivers who use Exit 10A (old Exit 10) will be able to access eastbound and westbound I-4, as they do now. However, Exit 10B is a faster and shorter route to eastbound I-4. Drivers will need to drive immediately past their current exit to reach Exit 10B. As commuters use the new I-4 eastbound ramp, there will be fewer cars using the Exit 10A ramp, making it a more convenient route for expressway users going to westbound I-4."

137385.jpg

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Just a question to be thrown out there. Why is I-4 the only toll-free freeway in all of Orlando? What in the world is keeping some of these from being untolled. I know the 408 was originally going to untoll it, but because it was OCCEA's "cash cow", they decided not to. I find it odd, its the South's largest city w/o a toll-free interstate loop. This is one reason I hate driving there, that 75 and 50 cents really starts to add up.

My understanding is that you cannot get Federal funding for a road if it has tolls. Therefore, I think all I (Interstate) roads are toll free and receive federal funds for maintenance and upgrading.

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I didn't know where to put this, but as it also says pollution...

I was working one of the press events at the Chicago auto show and whilst walking to my stage, I saw this:

BigSUV.jpg

That is not a midget by the way. Is this something for when a Hummer 1 is not enough? Many other cars had gas guzzling taxes etc, not just from this maker. 18mpg highway in a sedan? c'mon!

US automakers are so out of touch. They blame unions and a variety of other problems as to why they struggle. they don't understand most folks want a Camry made by a US automaker. I believe most people aren't looking for a car company to deliver excitement, but a car that has low operating costs, will live into high milage, and has a bit of style.

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I really love the above picture in the fact that the current interchange has a block of projects right smack in the middle, how classy. I laugh every single time I pass by them, its like fishes in a bowl almost. Tear that crap down and build a park or something. I am grateful they are redoing this, but have they fixed that enormous, traffic slowing dip/mega pothole near the end of the onramp to the 408? That thing pissed me off alot, almost caused me to lose control of my truck one time, go over it graciously if its still there!

Na can't tear that down its historic

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My understanding is that you cannot get Federal funding for a road if it has tolls. Therefore, I think all I (Interstate) roads are toll free and receive federal funds for maintenance and upgrading.

What does that mean for some interstates that still do have tolls?

Are any road upgrades paid by tolls only?

I remember growing up in Jacksonville in the early 80's and I-95 at the Fuller Warren Bridge and further north had toll plazas on the interstate itself

They have long since been removed but they were there for a considerable period of time

I wonder if any construction was toll financed or a combo of federal funding and tolls

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What does that mean for some interstates that still do have tolls?

Are any road upgrades paid by tolls only?

I remember growing up in Jacksonville in the early 80's and I-95 at the Fuller Warren Bridge and further north had toll plazas on the interstate itself

They have long since been removed but they were there for a considerable period of time

I wonder if any construction was toll financed or a combo of federal funding and tolls

some roads that were already tolled before being added to the interstate system were grandfathered into the system with their tolls intact, the Fuller Warren and Trout River bridges in Jacksonville being excellent examples. Jacksonville voters, of course, later voted to remove the tolls in exchange for a sales tax hike, I believe. The South has historically been resistant to toll roads (Kentucky being a notable exception), although that has been changing.

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