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I-35 and Waterloo Rd. Interchange - ODOT Proposal

There is an article in today's Oklahoman, "Would diamond interchange be Edmond drivers' best friend?", http://www.oklahoman.com/would-diamond-i...
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Here's the Oklahoman Article in full for those who don't have an account or receive the Oklahoman.

Would diamond interchange be Edmond drivers' best
By Steve Gust For The Oklahoman
January 30, 2016
EDMOND — An estimated 300 people gathered this week at Waterloo Road Baptist Church to find out what the Oklahoma Transportation Department has in mind for the congested interchange at Interstate 35 and Waterloo Road.
The Transportation Department wants to build what is known as a diverging diamond interchange, but the start of construction is likely five years away.
"I wish all of this was done eight years ago," said David Hennessey, of Edmond, a comment that drew applause from the room. He recalled a Transportation Department meeting with the public five years ago when the state opted to create a three-way stop at the exit.
"I wish those engineers could see what it's like there now between 5 and 6:30 p.m.," said Hennessey, a development representative for Waterloo Industrial Park.
"It's crazy. If you just could put traffic lights there, it would make a big difference."
The new interchange, estimated to cost $31.9 million, would widen I-35 to six lanes from four and expand Waterloo to five lanes from two, Transportation Department consultants and engineers said during a Thursday public hearing.
The Waterloo bridge, built according to 1958 standards, would be raised from just over 13 feet to 16 foot, 9 inches.
When the roadwork is complete, it should alleviate a bottleneck at the exit. Jenny Sallee, of Garver Engineering, said there are times when Waterloo exit traffic backs up to I-35, posing risks for motorists.
Sallee, along with colleague Kirsten McCullough, said 175 accidents were documented at the interchange from 2004 to 2014.
Of those, 126 resulted in property damage and 46 involved injury, including two fatalities.
"Of the accidents, 44 percent were from rear-end or turning collisions," Sallee said.
The project:
A diverging diamond interchange is a relatively new concept, built first in 2009 in Springfield, Mo. The Waterloo project is expected to be the first, or one of the first, in Oklahoma, the consultants said.
The design would feature two divided, one-way roads through the interchange. Traffic signals keep the movement of vehicles safer, McCullough said, and cars traveling to the left do not have to cross in front of oncoming traffic to make a turn.
About a dozen members of the public took turns speaking to the consultants and to Brian Taylor, Division 4 engineer for the Transportation Department.
Terry Daniel offered one of the more spirited criticisms.
"I'm just wondering how we came up with this plan. Was it just your little group here that decided it? It seems like things are set in stone, and you're not listening to the public," Daniel said.
Frank Roesler, of the Transportation Department, addressed his concerns.
"I am really sorry you're stressed by this," he said. "The best thing you can do is to fill out the written report and send that in."
The public comment period ends Feb. 11.
Daniel and others said the state needs to add exits at Charter Oak Road north of Waterloo.
"I can guarantee you that we would have 40 percent fewer cars if there were exits at Charter Oak," Hennessey said.
Hennessey also criticized elements of the proposed design.
Taylor said the five lanes of expanded Waterloo Road would turn back to two lanes after half a mile, and Hennessey said that would be trading one traffic bottleneck for another.
The state is scheduled to start working on rights of ways and utility relocations in 2019.
One home in the area would be affected, Taylor said. Those residents would be bought out and would need to relocate, he said.
Transportation Department officials said I-35 in 2014 had 49,100 vehicles pass by that interchange daily. That is expected to increase to 81,200 by 2040.

Detailed information about the project can be found on ODOT's website. https://www.ok.gov/odot/I-35_and_Waterlo... .
ODOT's link can be best viewed on a PC or tablet.

Besides the Diverged Diamond Interchange that is proposed, the ODOT link also shows two other possible designs.

How to submit your comments to ODOT.
•Contact ODOT’s Public Involvement Office at: ?—¦Go online to www.odot.org/publicmeetings to fill out an official comment form
?—¦Email to odot-environment@odot.org, or
?—¦Send a letter to Oklahoma Department of Transportation, Environmental Programs Division, 200 N.E. 21st St., Oklahoma City, OK 73105
?—¦FAX comments to 405-522-5193

•Comments must be provided to ODOT by Feb. 11.

Images provided:
ODOT Proposed Diverged Diamond Interchange
I44 Diverged Diamond Interchange in Springfield MO

Other possible ODOT designs
Diamond Interchange (similar to what exists now but with the addition of traffic signals)
Diamond Interchange with a loop ramp (similar to what is now at I-35 and SH-51 as motorists leave Stillwater)






Posted by Roger Tribby on 01/30/2016
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