Diverging diamond configuration opens at Fillmore/I-25; demolition of old bridge next
The new diverging diamond interchange (DDI) at Fillmore/I-25 opened without any serious hitches Friday morning, March 25.
“It went pretty well,” summed up Ted Tjerandsen of Wilson & Co., project consultant for the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), after the first day. “We saw some immediate enhancements.”
With the DDI, Fillmore Street drivers from either direction are now switching sides as they travel over the interstate (see photos on this page). As a result, there is no need for left turns across traffic and cars can go on and off the ramps without needing stoplights.
The new configuration also featured the opening of Fillmore's new north bridge, which was installed last winter and has been getting prepared for use in recent weeks.
The traffic flow will continue to be monitored in the weeks ahead, including stoplight timing, he added. One evident green-time issue on the first day was with the westbound traffic, which was consistently backing up past the Mark Dabling Boulevard intersection.
Tjerandsen said the DDI changeover went into place at about 7:30 a.m. March 25 after overnight work by project contractor SEMA Construction, during which Fillmore was closed to traffic and so were all the ramps. The nearly 12-hour effort involved removing the old lane stripes, painting new stripes and placing barrels and barricades to guide motorists into the new configuration.
The new striping is actually temporary - along with the barrels and barricades. That's because the old Fillmore bridge, which is between the two new bridges, still needs to be demolished. So the final paving and striping, along with the installation of permanent DDI-related traffic islands, have to wait for that.
The demo is scheduled over three nights (March 28-30). It will require closures of the interstate and Fillmore in both directions (leaving the ramps open) each night from about 9 p.m. to 5 a.m., Tjerandsen said. Ultimate project completion is expected in June.
According to the website, divergingdiamond.com, this is the 65th such interchange in the United States (the first was in 2009) and the third in Colorado (the other two are in Grand Junction and Superior).
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