COLUMBIA — The construction of the first diverging diamond interchange in central Missouri is scheduled to begin Monday, according to a news briefing Friday afternoon by the Missouri Department of Transportation.
The diverging diamond interchange will be at Stadium Boulevard (Missouri 740) and Interstate 70 in Columbia. Motorists coming from Stadium will be able to cross to the opposite side of the road on a bridge and turn left to merge on I-70 or go through another stoplight and cross back over to Stadium.
MAP: Diverging diamond interchange
Construction on a new diverging diamond interchange will begin in mid-March along with other projects designed to alleviate traffic along Stadium Boulevard. (Graphic: Jon McClure)
A diverging diamond interchange is safer because motorists don't have to cross traffic from the opposing lanes, according to the MoDOT website.
"It’s kind of like the roundabouts; there is a learning curve with them, but they really do work,” Mike Schupp, area engineer for MoDOT in Boone County, said.
Construction will also widen Stadium Boulevard from north of I-70 to south of Broadway and widen Bernadette Drive from Knipp Street to Beverly Drive. These changes will help improve the flow of traffic and decrease congestion, Schupp said.
The cost of construction is estimated to be $12.8 million, shared by MoDOT, the city of Columbia and three transportation development districts. Columbia's Emery Sapp and Sons, Inc. is the contractor.
A lot of the work will be done at night and from the shoulder of the roads during the day to minimize traffic disruption, said Charles Sullivan, resident engineer at MoDOT.
"It's going to get worse before it gets better, and so we really do ask for everyone's patience," City Manager Mike Matthes said.
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