State Route 417 From US 17/92 to Interstate
By Roger Trevett, Parsons and Gary Kuhns,
ASHE Central Florida Section
SR 417 from US 17/92 to Interstate 4 recently was opened to
traffic. The project is of major importance to the Central Florida
transportation network. Travelers now can drive from Interstate
4 near Celebration to Interstate 4 in Sanford without interruption.
This project has many years of history. The Seminole County
Expressway Authority selected three consultants for design in
the early 90s, PBS&J, DRMP, and URS. The design was progressed
to 60% and turned over to Florida's Turnpike. The plans then
were completed, and the project was permitted. Three CEI firms
were selected, HNTB, GAI, and URS in the late 90s. Construction
started in 1998. The three contractors awarded contracts were
Modern Continental, Eby, and Granite Construction. The contractors
worked within a very aggressive schedule to ensure the opening
in 2002. A large increase in traffic along the existing sections
of SR 417 from travelers seeking relief from Interstate 4 in
Seminole County already has occurred.
The project included interchanges at US 17/92, CR 46A, Rinehart
Road, and Interstate 4. Several sideroads, such as Airport Road,
required relocation. At the Interstate 4 interchange, the project
included CD roadways to handle the weave movements from the
SR 46A interchange to the south and from the SR 46 interchange
to the north.
One of the most challenging issues was the presence of very
deep, soft, organic soils (muck and peat) within the CR 46A
interchange. These deposits extended to depths of up to about
100 feet in some locations and had caused very large settlements
of CR 46A over the years. To construct the new interchange,
these soft soils were improved by consolidating them with a
surcharge fill 12 feet in height prior to roadway construction.
The surcharge was monitored using settlement plates, slope inclinometers,
and pore water pressure transducers to determine the safe rate
at which fill could be placed and when the surcharge's effect
was completed. Reinforcing plastic geogrids also were used to
provide embankment slope stability on the very soft soils. Ground
settlements greater than about 10 feet were recorded at some
locations prior to stabilization of the surcharge and successful
completion of the interchange.
This important project is a major victory for the Central Florida
transportation community. Representative John Mica, along with
Metro Plan, helped secure funding in order to accelerate construction.
Great cooperation took place among the Seminole County Expressway
Authority, Florida's Turnpike, FDOT Fifth District, the designers,
the CEI consultants, and the contractors. ASHE would like to
congratulate everyone that contributed to this very critical
and successful project.
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