WINNER: Small Project – Innovative Management
“More than 440,000 visitors pass through our facility every year and the new interchange has eased traffic considerably.”
On June 21, 2009, the Missouri DOT opened the first diverging diamond interchange in the western hemisphere at the intersection of Route 13 and 44 in Springfield, Missouri.
The project was built to alleviate congestion on the heavily traveled Kansas Expressway (Missouri Route 13) at 44 while providing a unique pedestrian/bicycle crossing down the middle of the bridge. The innovative design was chosen primarily for three reasons: timeliness, monetary savings, and safety.
These goals became MoDOT’s motto for the project – quicker, cheaper, and safer.
The interchange has worked remarkably well since the project’s completion. Traffic has proven to move smoothly through the interchange and the significant backups of the past have been eliminated even during peak morning and afternoon rush hours and during major traffic-generating events.
More diverging diamond interchanges are being built in Missouri. The innovation is catching on, as many other state transportation departments are looking to replicate Missouri DOT’s innovative project and have begun designing and building diverging diamond interchanges. Additionally, Popular Science magazine named the interchange one of its 100 Best Innovations for 2009.
The first-in-the-USA design clearly works well. Its speedy construction, monetary savings, and safety features will benefit many communities across the country.