Interstate 4 or I -4 is an Interstate Highway in the United States, located entirely in the state of Florida, making it formally an Intrastate Highway. The highway forms an east-west route in the state, although the highway forms more of a diagonal connection to the northeast. I-4 runs from Tampa to Daytona Beach, passing halfway through the Orlando metropolitan area. Interstate 4 is 213 kilometers long.
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I-4 begins north of downtown Tampa at the interchange with Interstate 275, the interstate connecting highway in the Tampa Bay metropolitan area. Tampa is a fairly large city with a vast urban area. The highway has 2×4 lanes and is connected to State Road 618 via the Selmon Expressway Connector. After this, the highway narrows to 2×3 lanes. I-4 runs only a short distance through Tampa’s older neighborhoods, quickly moving into the newer suburbs. On the east side of the city, one crosses Interstate 75, one of Florida ‘s 3 major north-south routes . I-75 leads to Miami andAtlanta. After this junction, the motorway also has 2×3 lanes. The countryside between Tampa and Orlando is quite urbanized. You pass Plant City, a small suburb, after which you pass the city of Lakeland, this city has a small ring road, the Polk Parkway that you cross twice. In Lakeland, one also crosses US 98, which runs towards Dade City. Florida is a fairly densely populated state and many rural areas have new housing developments.
The highway runs a little more northeast from here and crosses US 27, which runs between Minneola and Haines City. Shortly after, it crosses State Road 429, a toll road that forms Orlando’s western ring road. You will then pass the large Walt Disney World, with several large exits. This is also where State Road 417 turns off, which forms Orlando’s eastern bypass. Orlando itself is not very big, but has a large urbanized area in the interior of Florida. The highway through Orlando has a system of express lanes, with 2×2 lanes, plus regular lanes from 2×3 to 2×4 lanes. There are major interchanges with other roads and wide bridges over lakes. At Williamsburg, State Road turns off 528, a toll road to Cape Canaveral near Titusville. I-4 now runs due north. One also passes by Universal Studios in Orlando. It then crosses Florida’s Turnpike, a major toll road between Miami, Orlando, and Ocala.
At the height of downtown Orlando, State Road 408 crosses the East-West Expressway, which runs east-west through the metropolitan area. Orlando is dotted with lakes I-4 runs with bridges over some of these lakes. North of Orlando one enters the sprawling row of suburbs. The further suburbs are hidden in the forests, which Florida is covered with. Suburbia stretches quite a long way, because the conurbation has grown mainly to the north, along Interstate 4. Only at De Land do the suburbs end and one enters dense forests. After this, the motorway has 2×3 lanes continuously. One soon arrives at Daytona Beach, a small coastal city with a fairly large agglomeration of 500,000 inhabitants. One crosses here the Interstate 95, also the terminus of I-4.
I-4 at Altamonte Springs, north Orlando.
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Before the construction of I-4, US 92 was the primary connection between Tampa, Orlando and Daytona Beach. The section between Kissimmee and Orlando was widened to 2×2 lanes in the 1950s, following the region’s early growth. When the Interstate Highway system was created, Florida’s cities were not that big. At that time, Tampa had about 200,000 inhabitants, Orlando 70,000 and Daytona Beach about 35,000. Moreover, these cities did not yet have a large suburban area. For that reason, I-4 was largely planned as a rural freeway.
Interstate 4 was one of the first highways in Florida, the line between Plant City and Lakeland was opened in 1959. By 1961 the line had already been completed to Tampa. In 1962, the highway was extended to Orlando, in order to create a through connection between the two cities. In the late 1960s, the entire Interstate 4 was completed. During the construction of Interstate 4, widening was taken into account, many viaducts over the road can be adapted to 2×5 lanes without major work.
The original Interstate 4 started in St. Petersburg, so via the Howard Frankland Bridge over the Tampa Bay. At the time, it was planned that the route over the Sunshine Skyway Bridge would also become part of I-4, but this did not go ahead. At the same time, I-75 was planned not to run to Miami, but to end in the Tampa area. In 1971, the terminus was changed to the current interchange with I-275 in Tampa. This was the route of I-75 at the time, but I-75 was later rerouted east of Tampa to the south, turning the old route into I-275.
The Orlando Expressway and Tampa Expressway names have been used for parts of I-4 in the past, but these names fell into disuse in the 1970s. In 2002, the state of Florida switched from sequential exit numbering to distance exit numbering, as required by the MUTCD.
|Exit 21||exit 32||18 km||00-00-1959|
|Exit 7||Exit 21||23 km||00-00-1960|
|Exit 104||Exit 118||23 km||00-00-1960|
|exit 32||exit 80||77 km||00-00-1961|
|Exit 1||Exit 7||10 km||00-00-1963|
|exit 80||Exit 83||5 km||00-00-1963|
|Exit 118||Exit 132||23 km||00-00-1963|
I-4 at Tampa.
Interstate 4 originally had only 2×2 lanes in Tampa. Around 1999-2000, the first section of the highway in eastern Tampa was upgraded, creating a parallel structure between Hillsborough Avenue and the turbine interchange with I-75. During that time, a portion of US 41 to Hillsborough Avenue was also widened to 2×3 lanes. In the period 2004-2006, the rest of I-4 in Tampa was widened to 2×4 lanes. The road has been remarkably modified, the tight 2×2 profile has been changed to two widely spaced lanes. In the period 2002-2006, the interchange with I-275 was also converted.
Tampa – Orlando
I-4 originally had 2×2 lanes between Tampa and Orlando. In the second half of the 1990s, I-4 between Tampa and Lakeland was widened to 2×3 lanes, with the highway completely redesigned from the original narrow 2×2 lanes to 2×3 lanes with wide median reservations. In the period 2004-2005, the section from Lakeland to the Osceola Parkway near Orlando was widened to 2×3 lanes.
The portion of I-4 along downtown Orlando is believed to have been constructed directly in the 1960s with 2×3 lanes. In the period 1995-2000, the I-4 near Disney World was reconstructed and partly widened to accommodate new connections. During that time, a portion of I-4 north of Orlando was also widened to 2×3 lanes between Wekiva Springs and Lake Mary. In the period 2002-2004 this section was widened further to Deltona to 2×3 lanes, replacing the bridge over Lake Monroe. In about 2002, a portion of I-4 north of downtown, between SR-423 and SR-414, was widened to 2×4 lanes.
Orlando – Daytona Beach
In 2008, the section between Deltona and DeLand was widened to 2×3 lanes. The easternmost 20 miles of I-4 has been widened from 2×2 to 2×3 lanes from SR-44 at DeLand to I-95 at Daytona Beach. This $143 million project was completed in 2017.
I-4 Ultimate in Orlando
Interstate 4 was congested in the Orlando metropolitan area and a major reconstruction has been carried out. The project cost $2.1 billion and involved widening a 34-kilometer stretch of highway between Kirkman Road and State Road 434. The widening involved building 56 new bridges and overpasses, replacing 68 bridges and overpasses, and 13 bridges and overpasses. be adjusted. 15 connections have also been modified. The interchange with State Route 408 near downtown has been converted from a double trumpet connection to a 5-level stack, Orlando’s first. The interchange was largely opened on May 18, 2020. There are 4 express lanesin the central reservation and the existing highway has been completely rebuilt. These express lanes have a variable toll rate to guarantee free flow at all times. Construction began on February 1, 2015 and the express lanes were inaugurated on February 26, 2022. It was one of the largest projects in Florida during that period.
Beyond I-4 Ultimate
The ‘beyond I-4 Ultimate’ project is a study to extend the express lanes through Orlando to both the southwest and the northeast in the future. This includes – including the I-4 Ultimate project – 40 miles of Interstate 4, from US 27 in Polk County to State Road 472 in Volusia County, north of Deltona.
Tampa Bay Express
Express lanes are planned on I-4 between its entry point with I-275 in Tampa and Lakeland.
The highway is quite busy, as it connects two large agglomerations. In Tampa, I-275 has 131,500 vehicles per day since its inception, which remains fairly stable. There are 141,000 vehicles east of I-75, descending to 75,000 at Lakeland. Orlando is the busiest point with 209,000 vehicles per day. Heading north, this decreases after each connection, to 42,500 vehicles for I-95 at Daytona Beach.
|exit 0||Exit 9 (I-75)||2×4|
|Exit 9 (I-75)||Exit 27||2×3|
|Exit 27||exit 33||2×2|
|exit 33||Exit 67||2×3|
|Exit 67||Exit 74||2×4|
|Exit 74||Exit 83||2×4 + 2×2|
|Exit 83||Exit 94||2×3 + 2×2|
|Exit 94||Exit 132 (I-95)||2×3|