Tag Archives: Orlando

I-4 Ultimate Construction Project Ready to Begin

I-4 Ultimate is an important project for Central Florida. The 21-mile makeover — from west of Kirkman Road in Orange County to east of State Road 434 in Seminole County — will transform the region while connecting our communities, improving our economy and enhancing livability for everyone.

The goal of I-4 Ultimate is to create a signature corridor that connects communities, improves economies and enhances livability throughout the region. I-4 Ultimate is designed to reflect the best of Central Florida’s local context, history, unique community character and landscaping. Explore this section of the website to learn more about how this distinctive and memorable design will reinforce mobility, enhance the driver’s experience, engage communities and maximize accessibility.

Aesthetics

The I-4 Ultimate project is going to completely revamp the face of Central Florida. Most importantly, it will improve traffic flow by easing congestion. Some exciting things to look forward to include:

  • Four new tolled Express Lanes (two in each direction)
  • Thirteen widened bridges, 74 replaced bridges and 53 new bridges
  • Fifteen reconstructed major interchanges
  • A world-class signature pedestrian bridge
  • Accent lighting
  • Fountain illumination
  • Art sculptures and monuments
  • Bold landscape design
  • Monumental direct-connect pylons
  • Bridge architecture
  • Concrete paving
  • Steel tub girders
  • Architectural cladding

Innovation

FDOT is at the forefront of technological innovations and is shaping the way departments of transportation across the country generate new and better value for every transportation dollar invested. The I-4 Ultimate project is no exception. FDOT demanded innovation, and I-4 Mobility Partners delivered, offering 25 approved alternative technical concepts (innovative ideas) and 27 project technical enhancements (enhanced features).

Alternative technical concepts are proposed changes to basic configurations, the project scope, design criteria or construction criteria and provide an approach that is equal to or better than the requirements requested by FDOT. For I-4 Ultimate, I-4 Mobility Partners’ alternative technical concepts focus on:

  • Providing greater traffic flow reliability with auxiliary lanes and added movements
  • Providing greater consistency in driver expectancy and reduced travel times
  • Enhancing driver safety with sight distance improvements and alignments
  • Providing better community connections
  • Incorporating sustainability features, such as reutilized and recycled materials
  • Using better technology to improve long-term operations

Sound Abatement

The I-4 Ultimate project may include construction of sound barriers to help reduce sound between the interstate and adjacent neighborhoods. Many factors determine sound barrier locations. The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) conducted multiple noise studies for the 21-mile I-4 project. Currently, eight locations in Orange and Seminole counties are eligible for sound barriers. A majority of property owners adjacent to the proposed barriers indicated their support for them when surveyed by FDOT. Based upon the completed noise studies, construction of sound barriers is considered for eight residential communities adjacent to I-4.

Historic Preservation

Central Florida is rich in history, with hundreds of buildings, districts and sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Several of these places are within the project limits of I-4 Ultimate, including the town of Eatonville, Griffin Park and the Holden-Parramore Historic District. The team’s design was developed with historic preservation in mind, so impacts to these important areas will be lessened.

Once I-4 Ultimate is complete, the corridor will be a celebration of local history and heritage and will serve as a true reminder of what makes Central Florida unique. – See more at: http://i4ultimate.com/project-info/special-features/#sthash.paS76J4w.dpuf


For I-4 traveler information, including exit listing, real-time traffic reports, gas prices and more, visit www.i4exitguide.com

World’s Tallest StarFlyer Swing Ride Coming to International Drive

International Drive keeps growing and growing. You can already marvel at the huge Orlando Eye observation wheel being built, now another ride rivaling its height is coming next door. A StarFlyer swing ride will take riders up 420 feet.

Unicorp National Developments, the company behind the I-Drive 360 complex, announced the new ride today, and a new name for the complex which houses Kings Bowling, Sleuths and other stores next door to I-Drive 360. The plaza will be known as Vue at 360, a play on the 360 degree view riders will have on the StarFlyer.

This will be the second StarFlyer on International Drive. There’s a 230-foot one operating just down the street at Magic Midway. But this new one will be the tallest in the world at 420 feet. (The Orlando Eye will be approximately 425 feet tall.)

The StarFlyer is expected to open in late 2015 or early 2016. It will take riders up in 12 sets of double seats (24 total) on a three to four minute ride. A ride is expected to cost about $10 per person.

Here’s a look at the Sky Screamer at Six Flags New England. It stands approximately 400 feet tall:

Orlando Eye Construction On Track for a Spring 2015 Opening

With the inner wheel of the Orlando Eye now complete, construction of the massive outer wheel is about to begin.

Merlin Entertainments Ltd. plans to debut three attractions, The Orlando Eye, Madame Tussauds Orlando Wax Museum and Sea Life Orlando Aquarium, as part of a massive project being developed by Orlando-based Unicorp National Developments Inc. and New York-based Circle Entertainment Inc.

Once completed, the Orlando Eye will weigh about three million pounds. It will provide unobstructed views of the Orlando skyline, Central Florida theme parks, and on a clear day, the east coast and Kennedy Space Center. The giant wheel will include 30 capsules which can each hold 15 people. Riding the wheel will lasts 20 minutes and include a pre-flight five-minute film in 3-D.

The projected opening for these attractions is Spring 2014.

Photo Update: I-Drive 360 Construction On Schedule

Construction of “I-Drive 360”, a new entertainment, dining and shopping complex is full-speed ahead in Orlando. The highly anticipated entertainment destination, located on 20 acres of property between International Drive and Universal Boulevard is scheduled for a Spring 2015 grand opening.

The complex will include attractions, restaurants and retail stores. The centerpiece attraction will be “The Orlando Eye”, a 425 ft. tall wheel. The eye will include 30 gondolas that sit 15 people each. When completed it will be the tallest structure in Central Florida. Other major attractions will include a 25,000 sq. ft. Sea Life Aquarium and a equally sized Madame Tussaud’s Was Museum as well as another attraction, Skeletons: A Museum of Osteology. Right next door to I-Drive 360 is Kings Bowl, a 30,000 sq. ft. 22 lane bowling and entertainment complex that is already open.

Some features of the project are nearly complete, and others a well underway. Here’s our photo update of the construction, taken 10/1/14…

 

I-Drive 360 | I-4 Exit Guide
View of the main fountain feature looking east towards the Terminal Building main entrance of the Orlando Eye. (Click photo for a larger view)

 

I-Drive 360 | I-4 Exit Guide
View from the main fountain looking north towards several restaurants and retail buildings. (Click photo for a larger view)

 

I-Drive 360 | I-4 Exit Guide
View of the pools and water fountain features looking east from the south side of the project. The Orlando Eye Terminal Building is in the background. (Click photo for a larger view)

 

I-Drive 360 | I-4 Exit Guide
Another view of the pools, rock water falls and fountain features looking east from the south side of the project. The Orlando Eye Terminal Building is in the background. (Click photo for a larger view)

 

I-Drive 360 | I-4 Exit Guide
View of the pools and fountain features looking west from the north side of the project. International Drive is in the far background. (Click photo for a larger view)

 

I-Drive 360 | I-4 Exit Guide
Another view of the rock water falls and fountain features looking west from the north side of the project. To the right is the Orlando Eye Terminal Building. (Click photo for a larger view)

 

I-Drive 360 | I-4 Exit Guide
A view from the lawn in front of the main entrance of the Orlando Eye. This photo is looking west towards International Drive. The landscaping is beautiful! (Click photo for a larger view)

 

I-Drive 360 | I-4 Exit Guide
A view of the construction staging area under the Orlando Eye taken from the top level of the parking garage. Universal Boulevard runs to the rear of the I-Drive 360 development. (Click photo for a larger view)

 

I-Drive 360 | I-4 Exit Guide
A view of the Orlando Eye under construction taken from the top level of the parking garage. The Orlando Convention Center (round roof) can be seen in the center far left of the photo. (Click photo for a larger view)

 

I-Drive 360 | I-4 Exit Guide
A view of International Drive looking northwest from the top level of the parking garage. You can see McDonald’s (center right) at the intersection of International Drive and Sand Lake Road. (Click photo for a larger view)

 

How I-4 Express Lanes Will Keep Traffic Moving

The I-4 Ultimate Project is an important highway construction project for Central Florida. The 21-mile makeover — from west of Kirkman Road in Orange County to east of State Road 434 in Seminole County — will transform the region while connecting central Florida communities, improving our economy and enhancing livability for everyone.

The goal of I-4 Ultimate is to create a signature corridor that connects communities, improves economies and enhances livability throughout the region. I-4 Ultimate is designed to reflect the best of Central Florida’s local context, history, unique community character and landscaping. Explore this section of the website to learn more about how this distinctive and memorable design will reinforce mobility, enhance the driver’s experience, engage communities and maximize accessibility.

Work on I-4 Ultimate is underway! While your daily commute won’t be affected just yet, now is the perfect time to start planning so you’ll be prepared when construction begins in early 2015.

 

Orlando Officials Approve Massive I-Square Mall and Hotel Project

On Monday evening the Orlando City Council approved a massive new development that will redefine the north end of International Drive.

The $400 million I-Square Mall and Hotel project will be built on the southeast corner of International Drive and Kirkman Road. The state-of-the-art complex will include a 26-story, 729-room luxury hotel, a multi-level shopping mall, a 500-seat live performance theater, 100,000 square-foot convention center, food court, ice-skating rink and a 360′ high roof-top observation deck with rotating restaurant. Project developers envision a “flashy, Las Vegas-style complex catering to affluent travelers”.

When built, the I-Square Mall and Hotel will instantly become a landmark on North I-Drive. It will replace the International Shoppes strip mall, which will be demolished to make way for the complex.

I-Square Mall and Hotel is expected to begin construction in 2015, with a grand opening slated for the summer of 2017.

For I-4 traveler information, including exit listings, real-time traffic reports, gas prices and more, visit www.i4exitguide.com

Universal Studios Announce “The Purge: Anarchy,” a New “Halloween Horror Nights” ScareZone

As the gates to “Halloween Horror Nights” open, so too does the annual Purge begin at Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Orlando Resort with the debut of a terrifying new scarezone, “The Purge: Anarchy,” inspired by Universal Pictures’ new thriller, which scored the highest opening for a horror film this year.

“The Purge: Anarchy” scarezone will greet guests with pure unadulterated fear, bringing to life the turmoil and pandemonium that awaits those vulnerable to masked vigilantes in search of new victims. Reimagining the movie’s premise that on one night every year, any and all crime is made legal, the scarezone will be inhabited by average citizens transformed into sadistic felons during this period of government-sanctioned lawlessness. Like civilians in the movie fighting to survive, guests will be at the mercy of cunning wit, luck and speed as they attempt to outsmart and outlive the anarchy brought about by those who believe in an “eye for an eye.”

The Purge: Anarchy, the sequel to last summer’s surprise hit, moves from the confines of a suburban neighborhood to the streets as the government begins its annual 12-hour Purge to ensure that the crime rate stays below one percent for the rest of the year. With all emergency services suspended, it’s the one night when society regulates itself without thought of punishment or fear of retribution. For average people who do not have the means to barricade themselves indoors with a state-of-the-art security system, anarchy rules and no one is safe. In this new story, an unlikely group of five citizens discover how far they will go to protect themselves and, ultimately, each other, as they fight to survive a dangerous night fraught with impossible decisions.

From director and writer James DeMonaco (The PurgeAssault on Precinct 13), The Purge: Anarchy stars Frank Grillo (Captain America: The Winter Soldier), Carmen Ejogo (Away We Go), Zach Gilford (Devil’s Due), Kiele Sanchez (A Perfect Getaway) andMichael K. Williams (The Wire).

“‘Halloween Horror Nights’ is about taking guests out of their comfort zones and placing them at the core of unimaginable horror,” saidJohn Murdy, Universal Studios Hollywood’s Creative Director for and Executive Producer of “Halloween Horror Nights.”  “Because the premise of ‘The Purge’ could theoretically happen, our scare-zone elevates that sense of fear and forces you to really watch your back.  Imagining how your neighbor, friend or enemy could take revenge on you without retribution because you wronged them takes horror to a whole new level, and we wanted to bring that gut-wrenching terror to every one of our guests.”

“‘The Purge’” scarezone will invade the streets of ‘Halloween Horror Nights’, taking up most of our New York back lot. The chaos that reigns in the film will be replicated nightly, but now our guests can actually attempt to survive the night themselves,” said Michael Aiello, Director of Entertainment – Creative Development, Universal Orlando Resort. “The familiar emergency broadcast will be heard announcing the commencement of the annual Purge, and all hell will literally break loose.”

Universal Studios’ “Halloween Horror Nights” events have a more than 20-year history of creating incredibly entertaining, horrifyingHalloween experiences that are consistently rated the nation’s best. The events on each coast feature highly-themed, disturbingly real, haunted mazes based on everything from films to nightmares – and streets filled with hundreds of specially trained “scareactors” in uniquely themed scare-zones. In addition to “The Purge:  Anarchy,” other announced experiences include, “The Walking Dead:  The End of the Line,” “From Dusk Till Dawn” and “Face Off: In the Flesh.”

To complement its numerous mazes, “Halloween Horror Nights” features a variety of terrifying scare-zones designed to provoke heart-pounding fear as guests traverse the park from one traumatizing experience to the next, unsure of what lies just around the corner.

To learn more about this all-new “Halloween Horror Nights” scarezone, click here:  The Purge: Anarchy.

For more I-4 information, visit www.4exitguide.com, the Internet’s largest and most complete website devoted to Florida’s Interstate 4. Detailed exit service listings… discount lodging, camping, food, gas and more for every exit from Tampa to Daytona!

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Orlando Approves I-Drive MegaMall and Hotel

The developer of a new $400 million mall and hotel tower recently received recommended approval from the City of Orlando Planning Board for it’s master plan to build a multilevel shopping center and 26-story hotel on the corner of International Drive and Kirkman Road. Their next step will be going before the city council.

The iSquare Mall and Hotel will include 749 hotel rooms, 490,213 square feet of retail space, a restaurant, meeting space, skating rink, a 500-seat live performance theater and office space, plus an 11-story, 2,780-space parking garage. The complex will be topped with a rotating restaurant and observation deck that will be 360-feet tall, city documents showed. The project should take two or three years to complete.

The approved concept is a slightly smaller version of a plan that the developer originally submitted. The original version included a 32-story hotel and more than 1,200 hotel rooms.

For more I-4 information, visit www.4exitguide.com, the Internet’s largest and most complete website devoted to Florida’s Interstate 4. Detailed exit service listings… discount lodging, camping, food, gas and more for every exit from Tampa to Daytona!

Join our social circle and stay connected. To stay in the loop on all things I-95, click the icons below to find us on Facebook and Twitter!

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Traveling another route? Visit our growing family of exit guides: I-5 Exit GuideI-10 Exit GuideI-75 Exit Guide and I-95 Exit Guide.

Orlando’s Skyplex Development Adds More Land

Skyplex, the $200 million retail and entertainment destination scheduled to be built on Orando’s International Drive, has just added another parcel to it’s project site.

The developer purchased an adjacent half-acre site from Dallas-based 7-Eleven Inc. The property is the third piece they have secured so far at the northeast corner of International Drive and Sand Lake road to build the 12-acre Skyplex tourist destination.

Skyplex will feature a 570-foot-tall Skyscraper roller coaster and observation tower attraction, a vertical roller coaster that will drop from the height of the tower and ride along the outside of some of the retail structures at the center. The destination is expected to feature nearly 500,000 square feet of luxury retail space, including high end shopping.

Construction is expected to start in 2015 with a grand opening slated for 2016.

 

For more I-4 information, visit www.4exitguide.com, the Internet’s largest and most complete website devoted to Florida’s Interstate 4. Detailed exit service listings… discount lodging, camping, food, gas and more for every exit from Tampa to Daytona!

Join our social circle and stay connected. To stay in the loop on all things I-95, click the icons below to find us on Facebook and Twitter!

FacebookTwitter

Traveling another route? Visit our growing family of exit guides: I-5 Exit GuideI-10 Exit GuideI-75 Exit Guide and I-95 Exit Guide.