Drivers along Interstate 4 in the Orlando metro area may notice new billboard signs installed which remind motorists the I-4 Ultimate project is soon underway in 2015.
The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) has been acquiring right of way along the interstate necessary to construct the I-4 Ultimate project for almost a decade. Through this process, FDOT has acquired the property where several billboards are located. The billboard companies [Clear Channel Outdoor, Lamar Advertising and Outfront Media (formerly CBS Outdoor)] have been compensated for the acquisition and were allowed to continue displaying advertising through a leasing program with FDOT. Now that design of the I-4 Ultimate project has begun, FDOT will assume control of the billboards it owns. The billboards are located at:
- Grand National Drive and Oakridge Road – A V-shaped sign on the right side of eastbound I-4.
- I-4 and Orange Blossom Trail – A single-faced sign on the right side of I-4 along the eastbound ramp.
- I-4 and Michigan Avenue – A single-faced sign on the left side of I-4 along the westbound ramp.
- I-4 and Formosa Avenue and Minnesota Avenue – A V-shaped sign on the left side of westbound I-4.
- I-4 and State Road 436 – A V-shaped sign on the right side of eastbound I-4.
Each of these billboards is located in the FDOT-owned right of way and will need to be removed as I-4 is widened. The exact timeline is not yet known — the billboards may need to be removed soon after construction begins, or may be able to remain well into construction.
To increase public awareness of the I-4 Ultimate project and the changes about to occur, FDOT intends to use these billboards in the meantime for project-specific messages. FDOT terminated the leases with the advertising agencies and provided Clear Channel Outdoor, Lamar Advertising and Outfront Media with a 30-day notice to relinquish the space.
It is important to note that FDOT owns these billboards and has made the cost-effective decision to use space it already owns to provide information to Central Floridians. FDOT is not purchasing any advertising space, and the only cost associated with this outreach campaign is the production and installation of the vinyl for the billboards.
During I-4 construction, and always, motorists are reminded to pay attention to road conditions, buckle up, and don’t text and drive.