On June 15, 2015 FDOT held a second community information session on the proposed changes to the I-4 Rest Areas on both the West side of I-4 between 434 (exit 94) and Lake Mary (exit 98).
The East Side rest area project has been cancelled. Residents on the east side successfully petitioned FDOT to cancel plans for building a transportation building for FHP and expansion of the area.
At this meeting Commissioners Dallari and Constantine as well as State Rep Scott Plakon were in attendance.
FDOT is now only proposing reconstruction of the West bound Rest area including demolishing the existing rest area and constructing a new one. Eighteen spaces are allocated for Truck parking and car parking has been moved closer to the building with a larger landscaped buffer area between parking and the Seminole Wekiva Trail which abuts the rest area. The overall footprint of the rest area is not being expanded. The interior circulation roadways will be changed. All truck parking will be closer to I-4. Several water retention ponds required by the I-4 Ultimate project are included. The rest area elevation will be increased approximately 4 feet due the I-4 construction.
An alternate design includes a 12 foot perimeter wall to provide noise abatement and more security for adjacent properties. The project is anticipated to start in December 2015 and is anticipated to be complete in 6 months to a year. The rest area will be closed during construction.
The exit from the west side rest area is being reconfigured to allow more room for cars and trucks to merge back onto I-4 without being impeded by those attempting to exit at 434. This is a much better design.
The project manager is Heather Johnstone and you can email comments to her at
Most of the comments at the meeting were from residents who want both rest areas closed and relocated to a more rural area on I-4. FDOT is looking into relocating the rest areas to Volusia County near the exit for SR44. However, it will be several years before study, purchase and creation of these rest areas can be achieved. In the interim, it is highly unlikely that the Federal Highway Commission will allow the rest areas to be closed permanently.
To express your desire to permanently close the I-4 rest areas in Seminole County you need to contact Nick Finch the Associate Division Administrator for the Federal Highway Commission at Nick.Finch@dot.gov
Other concerns included the issue that Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) needs to be more vigilant in enforcing overflow parking in the rest areas. Some people requested information from FHP on how to get information on crime statistics in the rest areas. There is no open website for this, however if you wish to report suspicious activity to FHP then call 407-737-2200.
Other concerns dealt with diesel fumes and the impact on the health of the local community. FDOT, and the Federal Highway Commission have studied these emissions and have reports in their records. They were not available at the meeting.
Finally the original budget for both areas was 19.2 million dollars. Now that only the west side rest area is projected, the budget will be modified, but any “savings” will be allocated other unfunded projects, so there is no real savings to the taxpayers