Key public-private partnerships project, I-4 Express Lanes, opens in Florida.
John Laing Group has announced the opening of the I-4 Express Lanes, a key milestone in the development of the I-4 Ultimate project in Florida, the largest public private partnership in the US (in capital expenditure terms) as well as the largest single infrastructure initiative in Florida’s history.
Construction of the busy 21-mile section of the I-4 highway from west Kirkman Road in Orange County to east of State Road 434 in Seminole County, a major tourist route across central Florida, has involved completely rebuilding the general use lanes, constructing more than 145 bridges, reconstructing 15 major interchanges, and adding the four variable-priced toll express lanes.
Nearly all of the concrete and steel removed from the old road and bridges was recycled, and recycled materials were used wherever practical in the new construction.
The I-4 Ultimate project has already delivered material economic benefit to the local community, creating more than 2,000 jobs during construction and linking communities. It will reduce congestion for approximately 200,000 daily road users, providing additional capacity with reduced travel times, increased mobility and safer travel options. More than 20 million person hours have been spent on the project to date.
The project has involved a US$2.3bn design and build cost and is being delivered by the I-4 Mobility Partners (I4MP) and the Florida Department of Transportation. John Laing holds a 50% shareholding in I4MP, alongside Skanska. I4MP is responsible for the design, construction and financing of the new section of the highway and will operate and manage the asset for the next 33 years.
Ben Loomes, chief executive of John Laing Group, commented: “The opening of the I-4 Express Lanes demonstrates how public private partnerships can enhance US infrastructure quickly and cost-effectively.
“Our team has been heavily involved in all aspects of the wider I-4 Ultimate project from the outset, with a team based in Florida overseeing day-to-day delivery since 2014. This is a great example of John Laing’s expertise in delivering complex assets and our continued commitment to developing core infrastructure responsibly.”