Next spring, the Vermont Agency of Transportation will begin two years of construction to improve traffic and safety around I-89 and Exit 16 in Colchester.
On Tuesday, the agency held two public meetings to explain the Diverging Diamond Interchange, in which traffic will cross to the left side of the road, eliminating difficult left hand turns into oncoming traffic.
Michael LaCroix, VTrans project manager, said the project area will be “dug up for a long period of time.” But it will be worth it.
“It allows us to improve the interchange without having to do a massive widening,” LaCroix said. “It allows us to save the interstate bridges as well.”
Lacroix said other states with the same design have seen a 50% reduction in congestion and crashes. The plan will also add turn lanes to Mountain View Drive, Hercules Drive, and the Rathe Road intersections.
VTrans said most of the construction will occur at night with the goal to alleviate some delays and improve things for area businesses. Many people who drive along U.S. Route 2 & 7 daily attended the meeting to see firsthand what the new route will entail.
“My son goes to Freedom Rains across from Costco, so I can’t avoid this at all,” said Jennifer Cozine. “Just trying to figure out what my morning is going to look like going forward, there was some good information they provided here.”
The project is expected to cost $10 million.