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Diverging Diamond Interchange Opens

(Springfield, MO) -- The first of its kind in the nation, Springfield&#39;s new diverging diamond interchange is now open at I-44 and Kansas Expressway.&nbsp; Morning commuters are trying it out.<br />

(Springfield, MO) -- It is the first of its kind in the nation.  Drivers in Springfield are getting the chance to test it out during this morning's commute.  It is a diverging diamond interchange at Kansas Expressway and Interstate 44 in north Springfield.

Jessical Williams is live there this morning:

Jessica Williams - So far, things at this new interchange are moving along well.  The interchange opened at 10:00 pm Sunday. Traffic is moving well, but we have seen a few confused drivers.  MoDOT district  traffic engineer Joe Rickman is here with us.  How do you think things are going?

Joe - Overall, I'm real pleased with it.  We're adjusting things a little bit as we go because it's new.  We have to match driver behavior with signal timing.

Jessica - What should people be aware of as they approach this interchange?
Joe - Just be advised it's new.  You're going to cross over to the left side of the bridge and then back to the right as you go across it.  Pay attention to the stripes on the roadway, watch the signs, and everything should be fine.

Jessica - Why did you want to try this type of system?  What makes it unique and better?
Joe - Ah, three reasons, really.  It's cheaper, it's a lot faster, and it's safer.  We did this for about one-third the price of a regular interchange.  We opened it up in less than 6 months.  And it eliminates left turn type crashes across the lanes in front of you.

Jessica - Is work completed or are there things that still need to be done on this interchange?
Joe - We've got about two more weeks worth of work.  All the lanes will be open during the daylight hours. The night work will continue for about a week to two weeks. We've got islands to pour, other things to clean up, but we're getting close.

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