Inside the ‘In Bloom’ Florist shop in downtown Orlando, it appears the holidays are upon us.
- Gore Street new home to new I-4 entrance ramp
- Westbound entrance ramp milestone for I-4 Ultimate
- Ramp to provide access out of downtown area
"Location is really part of, I think, what makes us unique and differentiates us because we can quickly get on any road system in the Central Florida area and get where we need to go," said Sally Kobylinski, co-owner of In Bloom.
Just outside its walls is a decidedly less festive atmosphere.
The business lies just outside a massive construction zone near the I-4 and State Road 408 interchange.
"Well, there's been noise!" Kobylinski admitted.
Congestion may become the new norm on Gore Street now that it is home to a new I-4 westbound entrance ramp just down the road from In Bloom. That opening marks yet another recent milestone for the I-4 Ultimate Project.
"The new ramp off of Gore Street provides access out of the downtown area,” explained Dave Parks, spokesperson for the I-4 Ultimate Project. “We have a lot of traffic out of the downtown area that comes from a lot of different directions. That ramp from Gore provides that westbound access."
There has also been much more traffic – as evidenced by the many detour signs littered around Gore Street.
The folks at In Bloom say this has been a blessing and a curse.
"At one point, the traffic was re-routed down Gore and then up Division to get onto the 408. And for a while that just caused challenges," Kobylinski said.
This ramp is important because it marks the first permanent ramp that makes up the I-4/State Road 408 interchange. That begs the question, 'When will more ramps open up?'
"The next major piece of this puzzle will about in mid-December when we actually add to what we are standing on right now,” said Dave Parks. “It will carry traffic up and over the new bridge over Kaley Avenue and take folks to Michigan Street."
As for Sally Kobylinski, she feels their unique location in relation to the I-4 corridor will continue to pay off.
"Definitely having an entrance at Gore will be great, beneficial for us," she said.