The Florida Department of Transportation will build a 55,000-square-foot regional roadway operations center in Lake Mary, relocating from its aging building in Orlando.
The FDOT will use eight acres of a 55-acre parcel it bought to make way for the I-4, Wekiva Parkway and State Road 417 interchange.
It was determined the eight acres were not needed for the project and since the current regional transportation management operations center, at 133 S. Semoran Blvd. in Orlando, is roughly 70 years old, the DOT decided on a new facility, said FDOT District Intelligent Transportation System Manager Jeremy Dilmore.
The new building will be technologically advanced and also equipped to monitor the pay lanes that are being put in as part of the I-4 renovation, Dilmore said.
The new transportation center will be located on the southeast corner of International Drive and Wilson Road. Construction is expected to begin in the FDOT's next fiscal year, which starts in July. Building is expected to last two years. The project is budgeted at $13.5 million.
The regional transportation management center will serve as command post for monitoring roadways in the nine counties that make up the FDOT's District Five—Orange, Seminole, Osceola, Lake, Sumter, Marion, Flagler, Brevard and Volusia.
Via systems and devices placed along roadways and closed circuit televisions at the center, staff will keep tabs on travel conditions and also verify and let the Florida Highway Patrol know about accidents.
If crashes are severe, especially when there are fatalities, the cars that were involved will be taken to the transportation management center for investigation and kept there until the inquiry is complete.
The electronic signs that tell motorists how many miles they are from certain destinations and how many minutes it will take to get there will be programmed at the center, and staff will also use Twitter and Facebook to get the word out about how traffic is moving.
The 511 traveler information system will also be overseen by the center, which will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Each of the state's seven FDOT districts has at least one roadway operations center.