Colorado considering first “diverging diamond” interchange

May 24, 2012

Officials in the neighboring towns of Superior and Louisville, Colo., have begun talks about installing a “diverging diamond” interchange on U.S. 36 at the McCaslin Boulevard overpass. The new formation — meant as a solution to safety concerns in the face of increasing traffic along the highway — would be the first of its kind in Colorado. 

 

The diverging diamond formation, originated in Europe, would force drivers into a crisscross pattern after a traffic signal; this would mean that they would be driving on the left side of the road for a small stretch.

Officials in the neighboring towns of Superior and Louisville, Colo., have begun talks about installing a “diverging diamond” interchange on U.S. 36 at the McCaslin Boulevard overpass. The new formation — meant as a solution to safety concerns in the face of increasing traffic along the highway — would be the first of its kind in Colorado. 

The diverging diamond formation, originated in Europe, would force drivers into a crisscross pattern after a traffic signal; this would mean that they would be driving on the left side of the road for a small stretch.

From that point, vehicles could turn left onto a highway ramp or move back to the right at the end of the overpass.

Similar interchanges have already been installed in Missouri and Utah. Engineers in those states say the diverging diamond decreases the amount of time vehicles sit at a traffic signal while also limiting the number of “conflict points” where traffic flows cross each other.

The new interchange would also make it easier for pedestrians and cyclists to cross U.S. 36 at the overpass. In addition, special lanes would be installed for buses run by the Regional Transportation District.

Project planners estimate that constructing the new interchange would cost a total of $12.4 million.

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