New rest stops may be coming for truckers in dire need of a place to pull over on I-4.
The Florida Department of Transportation is holding a series of public meetings on 11 proposed locations in four counties for the truck stops.
What You Need To Know
- I-4 now has 36 truck parking spaces but needs 481 spaces
- The Florida Department of Transportation is studying 11 potential locations in four counties
- A series of public meetings are being held in March and April to discuss the potential truck stops
- One of those meetings will be held Thursday in Sanford
An estimated 40% of truck drivers spend more than an hour searching for a place to park their semi-truck.
“From Orlando north, to get to Daytona, there’s nowhere to park, absolutely nowhere,” said Brian Lindsey, a truck driver from Longwood.
North of Polk County, there are just two truck stops in Longwood for truckers on I-4 to use.
FDOT officials know there is a problem.
Between the Osceola/Polk County line and I-95, I-4 only has 36 truck spots available.
That’s well below the 481 spaces data show are currently needed, and in three years the demand will be 750 spaces.
“I always have to cross my fingers when I plan on parking (at the Longwood rest stop) to go home, because I live 2 miles down the road,” said Lindsey. “Because I never know if I’m going to get a spot.”
Truck parking is not only a capacity issue but also a critical safety concern, FDOT indicated.
Potential locations for new I-4 truck stops:
- 35.10 acres south of Osceola Polk Line Road near Orange Blossom Trail (3.87 miles from I-4)
- 24.30 acres north of Osceola Polk Line Road near Orange Blossom Trail (4.06 miles from I-4)
- 6.70 acres between John Young Parkway, Sand Lake Road and Florida’s Turnpike (2.90 miles from I-4)
- 6.80 acres north of Landstreet Road and west of State Road 528 (4.86 miles from I-4)
- 9.90 acres south of Landstreet Road and east of Parkers Landing (5.95 miles from I-4)
- 4.86 acres north of Landstreet Road and west of Tussway Boulevard (6.03 miles from I-4)
- 16.30 acres south of Tradeport Drive and east of South Orange Avenue (6.81 miles from I-4)
- 25.30 acres south of Tradeport Drive and directly across from Ringhaver Drive (7.74 miles from I-4)
- 12.40 acres north of Tradeport Drive and east of Ringhaver Drive (8.04 miles from I-4)
- 26.2 acres along I-4 east, south of Orange Boulevard and west of Monroe Road (0.32 mile from I-4)
- 1,164 acres along I-4 east and west, south of U.S. Highway 92 (0 miles from I-4)
“In 2018, FDOT conducted a statewide truck parking study to assess existing truck parking and future demand for truck parking across the state,” FDOT Public Information Director Jessica Ottaviano said. “The study found the I-4 corridor is the most critical corridor in the state, specifically between the Osceola/Polk County Line and Interstate 95. This segment was identified as a key freight corridor servicing between 7,000 and 20,000 trucks every day.”
Jason’s Law was established to require each state to evaluate the adequacy of truck parking, Ottaviano said.
Longwood-area resident Dominic Salfi said he hopes new rest stops will mean the current rest stops will close.
He's been fighting FDOT for two decades.
“The biggest problem is the diesel fuel and the particulates that come out,” he said.
Salfi has lived off Markham Woods Road, just behind I-4, for 58 years.
FDOT has promised for years to close down the overcrowded Longwood rest stops, he said.
"I had a granddaughter here who had serious situations with regards to her health when she was younger," he said. "And we could hardly have her here at the time."
Unfortunately for Salfi, Ottaviano said the need for truck parking means they don't plan to close the current rest stops anytime soon, just add more elsewhere.
Although FDOT has identified multiple locations for rest stops, currently the department only has funding to build one. Construction could start in fiscal year 2026.
A public meeting will be held Thursday regarding the potential locations at the Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens-Safari Room (3755 W. Seminole Blvd. in Sanford).
A second meeting will be held Tuesday, April 5 at the Ramada Plaza by Wyndham Orlando (6500 International Dr.) in a meeting room.
At each meeting, participants can arrive anytime between 5:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. to view a looped presentation and speak to project team members.
FDOT is also planning for public meetings in Osceola and Volusia counties later in April.