The Central Florida Expressway Authority (CFX) completed construction on the $118 million SR 528/SR 436 Interchange Reconfiguration Project in July, eight months ahead of the scheduled February 2023 completion. The project has also already won a Best in Construction Award.
Serving the northern access point of the Orlando International Airport, it is estimated that more than 51,000 vehicles pass through the interchange daily. To ease congestion and improve traffic flow, CFX constructed seven new flyover bridges where the heavily traveled SR 528 and SR 436 converge at the airport. Some of these bridges replace loop ramps originally constructed in the 1980s. An additional travel lane was added in each direction of SR 528 (Martin B. Andersen Beachline Expressway) between Conway Road and Goldenrod Road to further improve traffic flow.
“This signature project has transformed this critical interchange into a modern gateway to Orlando,” stated CFX Executive Director Laura Kelley.
The interchange at the north entrance of the Orlando International Airport was awarded the 2022 Florida Transportation Builders Association Best in Construction Award in the Expressway Authority category. Orlando-based DRMP served as the lead design firm and engineer-of-record for this project and was honored to be included in this award.
The design included:
- Widening of SR 528 from four to six lanes with an auxiliary lane eastbound to Goldenrod Road and westbound to Conway Road
- Construction of seven new bridges using a mix of steel box girders and concrete Florida U-Beams
- Replacement of one box culvert
- Enhanced aesthetics to compliment the CFX roadways, including a planted median separated by barrier wall, planter walls adjacent to the ends of the bridges, pylons at the bridge abutments, and many areas that allow for future landscaping
The numerous stakeholders that had an interest in the execution and success of this project: CFX (Owner), SEMA Construction (Contractor), DRMP (Lead Designer/Engineer of Record), RK&K (Construction Engineering Inspection), Dewberry (General Engineering Consultant).
Two of the most significant stakeholders were the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority, the operator of OIA, and Brightline, the new privately funded inter-city passenger rail company.
The interchange is adjacent to the $2.8 billion South Terminal C project and the Brightline rail extension project, connecting Miami to Orlando. The project was built in collaboration with construction teams from all three projects.
“Collaboration among transportation partners including CFX, the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority (GOAA) and Brightline is vital to achieve a cohesive transportation vision for our growing region. Together, these projects deliver on the ‘Orlando experience’ as soon as visitors arrive in Central Florida,” stated CFX Board Chair Sean Parks.
Facing a resurgence in travel to Orlando, CFX worked diligently to complete the project ahead of schedule. CFX took several proactive steps to minimize construction duration, including prequalifying contractors, providing a designated period for materials acquisition to avoid supply chain delays, and offering an incentive for early completion.
The final phase of the project will be execution of the bold landscaping plan. A staggered tree canopy and lush native plants will provide a welcoming gateway to Central Florida for the nearly 75 million visitors coming through OIA. Work is scheduled to begin soon.