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Another diverging diamond interchange is being planned for Springfield. Since becoming the first city in the nation to operate this type of intersection in 2009, state transportation officials have been adding a new one locally almost each year. And as KSMU’s Amber Carr reports, a meeting on Tuesday seeks public comment on a fifth diverging diamond.
Transportation engineers have adopted this unique construction method to provide quicker, cheaper, and safer means of travel.
Angela Eden is the senior customer relations specialist with the Missouri Department of Transportation’s Southwest District.
“We have been contacted by other departments of transportation across the country asking about the diverging diamond. Specifically, a lot of those calls came after we put in the first one there at Kansas Expressway and I-44. We talked with just about every state in the United States about using it and now I understand there are several in operation,” Eden says.
Eden says that with the installation of the interchanges, the criss-cross pattern allows drivers to make free left handed turns instead of having to wait for oncoming traffic. With this, traffic jams have essentially disappeared and severity of accidents have been reduced.
The latest diverging diamond at Kansas Expressway and James River Freeway is now in construction and is expected to be completed in August.
Over the last four years, Springfield residents have gotten used to the diverging diamonds and have either leaned one way or the other, according to Eden.
“What we’ve found is that there is no middle ground with folks who…when it comes to the diverging diamond. People either love them or they don’t,” explained Eden.
With the chance of a fifth such interchange on the Battlefield Road bridge over Route 65 , MoDOT is encouraging the public to attend an open meeting on Tuesday July 23rd from 5-7p.m. at the Second Baptist Church, Suite 210A. People will have the chance to look over plans, talk to the engineers involved, and voice opinions.
Those unable to attend can access the information and comment at modot.org/southwest.
For KSMU News, I’m Amber Carr.