Sr 400 (fl)

Interstate 4
;">Route information
Maintained by FDOT
Length:
Existed: 1957 – present
;">Major junctions
West end: I-275 in Tampa
  US 41 in Tampa
US 92 / US 301 near Tampa
I-75 near Tampa
US 98 in Lakeland
US 27 near Davenport
US 192 in Celebration
Florida's Turnpike in Orlando
SR 408 in Orlando
US 17 / US 92 / US 441 in Orlando
East end: I-95 / SR 400 in Daytona Beach
Length:
Length:
Length:
Length:
;">
;">Highway system

Interstate 4 (I-4) is an east-west 132.298-mile (212.913 km) intrastate Interstate Highway located entirely within the US state of Florida. It goes from I-275 in Tampa, Florida to I-95 at Daytona Beach, Florida. It also has the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) designation of State Road 400 (SR 400), but only a small portion of the route is signed at the east end.

Route description

I-4 maintains a diagonal, northeast–southwest route for much of its length, although it is signed east–west. The 132-mile (212 km) route begins with an interchange with I-275 in Tampa and continues east toward I-75.

After passing through the eastern suburbs of Hillsborough County, it crosses into Polk County, entering the Lakeland area, intersecting with the Polk Parkway twice before entering Polk City.

At this point, the interstate starts a turn toward the northeast where it intersects with the Orlando area cutting the city through at a diagonal direction going northeast/southwest. The route provides access to all of Orlando's theme parks including Disney World, SeaWorld Orlando and Universal Studios, as well as nearly all of Orlando's toll roads, including Florida's Turnpike. Throughout most of Orange County and Seminole County, I-4 travels in a roughly north–south direction. This causes endless trepidations for outsiders, since the exits are named according to I-4's generally west–east orientation.[1] Right before the eastern terminus, I-4 switches to a mostly east–west route in order to connect with traffic from and to I-95. At an interchange with I-95 in Daytona Beach, I-4 terminates; however, SR 400 continues eastward into Daytona Beach.

SR 400

State Road 400
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Location: Tampa-Daytona Beach
Length: 137.03 mi[2][3][4] (220.528 km)

SR 400, unsigned while concurrent with I-4, becomes signed east of I-95. The road extends for 3 miles (4.8 km) from the northeast terminus of I-4, on the south side of Daytona International Speedway and Daytona Beach International Airport, to an intersection with U.S. Route 1 (SR 5) in Daytona Beach. Named Beville Road, it runs along the boundary between the cities of Daytona Beach and South Daytona. Sections of Beville Road are classified as a "Scenic Thoroughfare" by the City of Daytona Beach.[5]

Interstate 4 has no I-x04 Interstate routes branching off of it, but Florida's 400-series highways do however serve a role similar to auxiliary Interstate highways, especially around the Orlando, FL area.

Junction list

History

I-4 was one of the first Interstate Highways to be constructed in Florida, with the first section opening between Plant City and Lakeland in 1959. By early 1960, the Howard Frankland Bridge was opened to traffic, as well as the segment from the Hillsborough Avenue/US 301 junction in Tampa to Plant City. The stretch from Lake Monroe to Lake Helen, including the original St. Johns River Bridge also opened during that period. The segment from Tampa to Orlando was complete by 1962.[6] By the mid 1960s, several segments were already complete, including Malfunction Junction in Tampa and parts of I-4 through Orlando. The original western terminus was set in South Pasadena in the late 1960s, but this plan was rejected due to local opposition. As a result, I-4 went southwest only to 9th Street North in St. Petersburg.



The entire Interstate Highway was completed by the late 1960s; however, the western terminus was truncated to Malfunction Junction in 1971 when I-75 was extended over the Frankland Bridge. Eventually, that stretch was again redesignated to become part of I-275.[7]

In maps and atlases dating to the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, the Tampa–St. Petersburg section of I-4/I-275 was marked as the Tampa Expressway. The Orlando segment was marked as the Orlando Expressway. Both names have since faded from maps.

Although many post-1970 interchanges along I-4 were constructed before the recent widening projects, they were designed with I-4 expansion in mind. In other words, there is enough room available to widen I-4 to up to ten lanes without extensively modifying the interchanges. Some of these interchanges include the I-75 stack (constructed in the 1980s) and several interchanges serving the Walt Disney World Resort (constructed in the late 1980s/early 1990s).

In 2002, I-4, along with most of Florida's interstates, switched over from a sequential exit numbering system to a mileage-based exit numbering system.[8]

A section of I-4 between Daytona Beach and Orlando called the 'dead zone' is rumored to be haunted.ECFRPC using GIS technology performed an analysis to determine if this identified zone had an increased fatality rate related to crashes. The analysis which compared this section of I-4 to several other dangerous I-4 sections found that while the dead zone area did not have the highest accident or fatality rate, it did identify that the percentage of fatality to accident was significantly higher in this location. In other words, while you are not more likely to be in accident in this section of I-4, if an accident occurs the chance of that accident containing a fatality is greatly increased.

Tampa area

The I-4/I-275 interchange (Malfunction Junction) was rebuilt from 2002 to 2006, and I-4 is under staged renovations to be widened from four to six lanes (with eight lanes in certain segments). Much of this work is complete, and all new travel lanes are now open. Eventually, I-4 will be widened again to a total of at least ten lanes (five in each direction). Studies for this project are already underway and construction should commence sometime in the 2010s. Completion of the project should be around 2020.


Eastbound I-4 shifted to its new, permanent alignment between Malfunction Junction and 50th Street on August 8, 2006. The new alignment includes a right-lane ramp exit/entry at the 22nd St/21st St Interchange (The previous left-lane configuration was causing hazardous conditions to commuters since its opening in 2005). On August 11, 2006, a fourth lane opened on eastbound I-4 between the downtown junction and 50th Street (led in by a newly opened third lane on the eastbound I-4 ramp from northbound I-275). And on August 18, the new westbound alignment, just west of 50th Street, opened. The newly opened lanes will improve flow throughout the interchange. The 50th Street overpass however, will not be complete until late 2007.[10][11][12][13] Also, the eastbound I-4 exit ramp to Columbus Drive/50th Street is situated to the left-hand side of the highway (as opposed to its former right-hand side exit). This exit shift went into effect in spring 2006 and is part of the new, permanent interstate configuration.

In Tampa, the exit to 40th Street (SR 569), Exit 2, was closed and demolished in late 2005 due to the ongoing reconstruction of I-4 and to accommodate a proposed connector highway with the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway.[14]

The interchange with what is today I-75 was constructed in the early 1980s.

Orlando area

As Orlando grew in the 1970s and 1980s, traffic became a growing concern, especially after the construction of the original interchange with the East–West Expressway in 1973, which proved to become a principal bottleneck. The term "highway hostages" was coined in the 1980s to describe people stuck in long commutes to and from Orlando on I-4.


In the early-to-mid 1990s, several interchanges near Kissimmee were constructed or upgraded to accommodate increasing traffic going to and from Walt Disney World. However, I-4's main lanes were not widened in the process. Around the same time, SR 417 was extended to I-4.

The St. Johns River Veterans Memorial Bridge, a two-span, six-lane replacement to the original four-lane bridge over the St. Johns River northeast of Orlando, was completed in 2004.

During the early 2000s, tolled express lanes were being planned in the Orlando area as a traffic congestion relief technique for rush hour commuters. The name for them was to be Xpress 400, numbered after the state road designation for I-4. The express lanes were slated to extend from Universal Orlando, east to SR 434 in Longwood, and tolls were to be collected electronically via transponders like SunPass and Orlando-Orange County Expressway Authority's E-Pass, with prices dependent on the congestion of the eight main lanes. However, the project was effectively banned by the passage of the SAFETEA-LU Federal transportation bill in 2005, introduced by U.S. Representative John Mica. The plan for tolled express lanes, however, is still in the long term plans for I-4.[15]


The eastbound exit to Robinson Street (SR 526) permanently closed on April 25, 2006, to make way for construction of the new eastbound onramp from SR 408.[16] The westbound offramp to Gore Street was permanently closed in the same project on November 2, 2008.

The new overpass from I-4 west to John Young Parkway (County Road 423, CR 423) opened the morning of April 27, 2006.[17][18][19]

2008 pileup

On January 9, 2008, 70 vehicles were involved in a large pileup on I-4 near Polk City. The pileup was caused by an unexpected thick morning fog that was mixed with a scheduled—and approved—environmental burn by the Florida Wildlife Commission. The fog drifted across I-4, mixing with the smoke, reducing visibility to near-zero conditions. Four people were killed, and 38 were injured. The section of I-4 did not re-open until the next day, January 10.[20]

Swing Region

Combined Presidential Election Results of I-4 Counties, 1992-2012
Year Democrat Republican Other
2012 52.6% 953,186 46.2% 838,377 1.2% 21,907
2008 53.3% 946,929 45.7% 811,159 1.0%% 17,034
2004 46.5% 724,618 52.9% 824,887 0.6% 9,929
2000 48.0% 569,746 49.7% 590,030 2.2% 26,531
1996 45.7% 462,403 44.7% 451,902 9.6% 96,818
1992 37.5% 379,821 42.1% 426,297 20.3% 205,621

In the 2004 U.S. presidential election, the I-4 corridor, a commonly used term to refer to the counties in which Interstate 4 runs through and a site of significant population growth, was a focus of political activity within the swing state of Florida. Communities along the I-4 corridor were perceived by both major political parties as having higher proportions of undecided voters as compared to more Republican- or Democratic-leaning portions of the state. It played an equally key role in the 2008 U.S. presidential election, but whereas the corridor had voted heavily for Bush in 2004, which helped Bush win the state, in 2008 it swung behind Democratic candidate Obama, helping Obama win Florida.[21] The I-4 corridor has voted for the statewide winner since at least 1992, but has supported the national winner since 1996. The Republicans and Democratics have each carried the region three times in the past six presidential elections. Republicans George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush won more votes than other candidates in 1992, 2000, and 2004 while Democrats Bill Clinton and Barack Obama captured the regions vote total in the elections of 1996, 2008, and 2012.

Future

Interim improvements to the interchange at SR 408 were completed at the end of 2008.[22] The rest of the SR 408 improvements are scheduled for the next decade. Intersections at US 192[23] and I-275[24] were completed in 2007. The remaining four-lane segment, from SR 44 to I-95, will eventually be widened to six lanes, with construction already begun in 2012.[25]

Planning is underway for "ultimate" improvements to I-4 through Orlando from SR 435 (exit 75) east to SR 434 (exit 94).[26] These plans involve adding express lanes to the highway, and the reconstruction of several major interchanges. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2014.

The Florida High Speed Rail Authority had proposed a high-speed rail line traveling from Tampa to Orlando via the median of I-4, which is wide enough to carry trains because of failed promises to widen the freeway.

Services

Exit list

See also

References

External links

  • Tampa Bay Interstates (Tampa-area reconstruction)
  • Central Florida Roads
  • I4Polk.com (Lakeland-area reconstruction)

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