ROADS/BRIDGES: Illinois’s first diamond interchange opens

The City of Marion is home to the first project of its kind in the state

Bridges News August 13, 2015
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The county seat of Williamson County now has boasting rights to an Illinois first: a  diverging diamond interchange. Planning for the project, which opened yesterday to traffic, dates back to 2003.
Moreover, the recently renamed The Hill Avenue, formerly Morgan Avenue, was widened to satisfy Federal Highway Administration standards due to the newly constructed interchange that connects the roadway to I-57.
The Illinois Department of Transportation paid $40 million for the project, which included the building interchange at I-57 and Ill. 13, a project that allowed for the second interchange to the north. According to city officials, Marion put up an additional $15 million toward the project.
The multiple highway exits are expected to rejuvenate real estate for potential commercial development to the east of the interstate and an existing commercial zone. “What it does is open up a tremendous area for more development. One of the reasons it hasn’t developed is it hasn’t had any ready access. This project provides that,” Mayor Robert Butler said.
The new interchange is expected to alleviate traffic on Ill. 13, which sees about 36,000 vehicles each day. Work on medians and pedestrian and bicycle access continues.

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