Diverging Diamond Interchange simulator on display at Colchester Winter Carnival

Local News

In the fall of 2020, the Agency of Transportation hopes to kick off two years of construction to improve traffic and safety around I-89 in Colchester.

Members from the Vermont Agency of Transportation were at the Colchester Winter Carnival, giving people an immersive experience on what the future of exit 16 will be. A real-life simulator showed drivers how driving around Colchester will look and feel in the years to come.

“Here at the carnival today, we’ve had mostly positive feedback. A lot of great questions from residents. A lot of asking about construction and timeline, and why we decided to go with this project. So far everybody seems pretty excited to see it get built,” said Ben Tietze, a traffic design engineer with the Vermont Agency of Transportation.

City leaders and contractors say they researched many different options before choosing the “Diverging Diamond Interchange” design. But what made them pick something that seems to be so complex?

“Looking through the alternatives, we looked at the potential benefits to safety,” said Tietze. “We looked at the capacity increases we could hope to see from them, and we also took into account that right now, the bridges at Exit 16 are in good condition. And if we didn’t have to, we didn’t want to have to pay to replace perfectly good bridges.”

And although it may take some adjusting, after trying out the simulator myself, along with some clarification from Tietze, it seemed to flow really well, and was a lot more smooth than I had anticipated.

The plan will also add turning lanes to Mountain View Drive, Hercules Drive, and the Rathe Road intersections. V-Trans says most of the construction will occur at night, with the goal to alleviate some delays, and improve things for area businesses. They say that construction could begin as early as this fall.

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