Why is the City of Blue Springs and MoDOT doing this project?
The City of Blue Springs is growing and thriving. The Interstate 70 and Woods Chapel Road interchange is the western entrance, serving as a major gateway into the city. The City of Blue Springs has teamed up with MoDOT to address the need for infrastructure improvements in the area.
The almost one mile corridor between Duncan Road and Briarwood/Castle Drive, including the I-70 and Woods Chapel Road interchange, has seen large amounts of growth, and currently experiences long delays and congestion because of:
- closely spaced signals are 350 feet apart where desirable spacing is greater than 800 feet,
- weaving traffic patterns with right turns immediately followed by left turns, and
- a lack of capacity as northbound traffic predominantly turns left to I-70 westbound.
How will this project benefit me?
MoDOT and the City of Blue Springs have opted to build a “Diverging Diamond Interchange” (DDI) that utilizes the existing bridge. This will allow improvements without replacing the current bridge or require modifications to Interstate 70.
A diverging diamond interchange is a type of interchange in which the two directions of traffic actually cross to the opposite side. The Federal Highway Administration thoroughly researched the concept and also found a number of benefits including:
- Fewer conflict points
- Better sight distance
- Reduced speeds
- Simpler signal timing and geometry
- More difficult wrong way entry onto ramps
- Less infrastructure to construct, maintain, and replace
- 50% lower overall project costs compared to the traditional design
- More room for trucks to maneuver
- Shorter construction schedule
In addition, Woods Chapel Road and the I-70 ramps will be widened. The intersection at Woods Chapel Road and Duncan Road will be reconstructed. The South Outer Road will also be relocated to the south, increasing the distance between the Outer Road intersection and the eastbound I-70 ramp. This will reduce congestion and improve safety in the area.
How much will this project cost?
The City of Blue Springs initiated this improvement project and will provide funding. The project has been designed to provide additional capacity without requiring bridge replacement or modification to mainline I-70.The estimated cost is $15 million.
What’s the construction schedule?
Construction is under way and expected to be completed by the end of 2014. Woods Chapel Road will remain open throughout construction.
How do I learn more?
The first DDI in the world was built in Versailles, France. The first in the United States was built by MoDOT in Springfield, Mo. MoDOT is also working on a DDI at the I-435 and Front Street exit.
For more information, review the materials listed in the left column. You can also submit a comment, send an e-mail or give us a call. Lend your voice to the transportation process!