LOUISVILLE, Colo. - Construction began early Monday morning on an unusual bridge plan.
The Colorado Department of Transportation is giving a facelift to the McCaslin Boulevard bridge over U.S. 36 between Louisville and Superior. The interchange will have drivers cross the bridge on the left side of the roadway, similar to driving in the UK.
Using the "diverging diamond interchange" style, drivers will encounter one fewer stoplight. For drivers using the McCaslin Boulevard off-ramp in either direction, instead of waiting at a red light to turn left, they will immediately merge onto the closest lane on the left side of the bridge. They won't hit a stop light until they have crossed the bridge, when the lanes start to go back to the appropriate side of the street.
Watch this animation of a similar design from the Missouri Department of Transportation: https://t.co/EUcSSBf6Ol
"If you are traveling northbound on McCaslin, you actually have to stop at two stoplights, sometimes three depending on where you're coming from," CDOT spokeswoman Crystal Morgan told 7NEWS last week . "This diverging diamond interchange includes the widening of this bridge (and) will help to alleviate a lot of the congestion that's here now and is going to come in the future."
Creating a diverging diamond interchange will cost slightly over $12 million. The town of Superior is paying more than $5 million, the city of Louisville is paying about $3.5 million, RTD is paying $3.5 million and CDOT is contributing $950,000.
The project will replace about 20 percent of the work done during a $6 million from 2005, Morgan said.
CDOT is planning public education opportunities, since there is bound to be confusion for an alignment that will have drivers on the opposite side of the road.
"We do anticipate that folks will need some time getting used to this," said Morgan. "We are undertaking a very large outreach effort for the local communities and those driving this interchange daily."
This will be Colorado's second diverging diamond interchange. The first is about to open in Grand Junction.