New Diverging Diamond Interchange opens at I-270 and Dorsett Roa -

New Diverging Diamond Interchange opens at I-270 and Dorsett Road

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By KMOV Web Producer By KMOV Web Producer

(KMOV) -- Crews have completed the first Diverging Diamond Interchange in the St. Louis area, ahead of schedule.

 The I-270 and Dorsett Road interchange in Maryland Heights opened at noon on Sunday, ahead of the MoDOT's Monday morning deadline.

 The interchange design allows vehicles, getting on and off of the interstate, to make left turns without crossing opposing lanes of traffic.

 MoDOT's project director says the design eliminates a traffic light cycle, improving traffic flow.

 "We expect crashes to go down here, not only because of the easy left turns, but also because of any type of rear end crashes that are related to traffic backups on the ramps. We think traffic backups on the ramps will be a rarity now that the new interchange is much more efficient." said Lee Hillner.

 Hillner was on site Sunday to watch drivers navigate the new interchange. Police were also stationed at the interchange, most of the afternoon.

 There are only four Diverging Diamond Interchanges in the nation, but the model is more common in Europe.

 MoDOT says the design is gaining popularity. There are plan to build a handful of diverging diamond interchanges in Kansas City. MoDOT plans to build one in Farmington, Missouri and St. Charles County authorities are considering the design to alleviate traffic backups at Mid-Rivers Mall drive and Interstate 70.

 This weekend, MoDOT is set to shut down the new interchange at Dorsett and I-270 so crews can apply the final layer of asphalt to the road.

 The interchange will close at 8 p.m. on Friday, October 22nd and reopen by 5 a.m. Monday the 25th.

 Click here for more information about the intersection. 

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