Plans are moving forward for a redesign of the Exit 28 interchange, and town planners want input from Cornelius residents on what they say will be a “signature” landmark and gateway to the town. Planners will hold a series of public meetings March 1-3 and invite citizens to provide input on the aesthetics of the different design options. [See below for examples]
The Exit 28 interchange, at I-77 and Catawba Ave., will be converted to a Diverging Diamond Interchange (DDI), a unique intersection that allows for improved traffic flow and increased safety, according to DOT officials. In its design, the two directions of traffic on the non-freeway road cross to the opposite side on both sides of the bridge at the freeway, preventing them from having to turn left across multiple lanes of oncoming traffic and allowing cars entering and exiting the freeway to do so more smoothly. The ramp design can make drivers’ wait time five times shorter, officials say.
The DDI plan for Cornelius also includes a protected lane about 8-feet wide between the two driving lanes that will have a short wall barrier and will allow safe passage through the intersection for pedestrians and cyclists.
Construction of the roughly $3.5 million project should take only about three months and shouldn’t be a major disruption for drivers or the environment once it begins in 2013, NC DOT officials say.
Below are two examples of “signature” gateways that could serve as inspiration for Cornelius’ DDI, town officials say:
WANT TO GO?
Citizens are invited to attend any of the following sessions at Town Hall, 21445 Catawba Ave.:
- March 1: Open House, 6-8 p.m.
- March 2: Open Studio, 2-5 p.m.
- March 3: Open Studio, 9 a.m.-noon; Workshop Presentation, 3-5 p.m.
VIDEO: DIVERGING DIAMOND INTERCHANGE VISUALIZATION
READ MORE ABOUT THE DDI:
May 18, 2011: “Exit 28 ‘diamond’ is a go, ‘bookends’ a no”
April 18, 2011: “In Mo., officials test a diverging diamond”
March 24, 2011: “New interchange is a ‘sure thing,’ but may not stop there”