The Woods Chapel Road bridge and its connection to Interstate 70 will have a new look Wednesday morning.
The city of Blue Springs and the Missouri Department of Transportation will close Woods Chapel Road over I-70 from Jefferson Street on the north to the South Outer Road and the exit and entrance ramps from I-70 at 9 p.m. today to finish work on the diverging diamond interchange project that began in April 2012.
Woods Chapel Road will reopen at 5 a.m. Wednesday, unveiling its new diverging diamond interchange format that is supposed to improve traffic flow and lessen congestion through the area.
“We are very excited that the diverging diamond interchange will be opening soon,” Mayor Carson Ross said in a press release. “That being said, we will all need to learn how to navigate through a new traffic pattern. Please give yourselves a few extra minutes for your first commute through the newly configured intersection.”
Because the road will be closed tonight, northbound traffic on Woods Chapel will be detoured to South Outer Road east to Missouri 7. Southbound traffic will be detoured along Jefferson Street east to Missouri 7. And the exit and entrance ramps onto I-70 will be closed.
In addition, I-70 traffic under the Woods Chapel Road bridge will be reduced to one lane from 8 p.m. today through 5 a.m. Wednesday so workers can install pedestrian fencing for a new sidewalk across the bridge. One lane of southbound Woods Chapel Road across the bridge will be closed for this work as well. If needed, these same changes will be made Thursday night into Friday morning to finish the work.
The diverging diamond is an interchange in which traffic lanes cross to the opposite side to make entry on and off of I-70 quicker and increase traffic flow across the bridge. According to a Federal Highway Administration study, the interchange is also cheaper to build and maintain.
This completes the first part of the first phase of the Woods Chapel Road rebuilding project, which was funded by a bond issue approved by voters in 2008. Construction on the road south of I-70 is expected to continue through November.
The city says the second phase of the Woods Chapel Road project is currently in the process of relocating utilities so construction can begin in 2014 and be completed by the spring of 2015.