JUNCTION CITY (KSNT) – Junction City is about to get a $10 million facelift. KDOT will soon begin tearing up and changing the interchange at I-70 and highway-77. In Geary County the junction of I-70 and Highway-77 creates what KDOT officials call a potentially dangerous interchange. But they have a solution, a design called a Diverging Diamond Interchange. “Safety benefit within this area, there surely gonna improve traffic movement and traffic flows,” says Greg McCaffery, Dir. Municipal Services.
The interchange will make it easier for drivers to transition from one highway to the other. Right now you have to exit one, then stop to get onto the other. The diamond interchange will allow you to make that transition without stopping. It sounds simple, but looking at it from overhead, it appears very confusing. Especially at night or for someone driving under the influence, is it an accident waiting to happen?
“It’s a lot like roundabouts when they first started, when we first started to construct them people were I think more nervous, I think you won’t even actually notice it, the speeds are very low, this one will be about 25-30 MPH,” says Debbie Tanking, KDOT design leader.
Tanking says it’s not only easier to drive than it looks, but it will allow more traffic to flow more quickly through the interchange.
“The ends of it are controlled by signals, and the pavement markings are very clear as well as the signing, so you, it’s sort of like normal,” says Tanking.
KDOT officials tell me construction for the Diverging Diamond Interchange will begin in June.
This project is the first of three phases in a $40 million project that will take place over the next three years along Highway-77. If you live in the area and want to get a closer look at the design and the timing of the construction CLICK HERE.