The McCaslin Bridge is the Denver metro area's first diverging diamond interchange -- and only the second in the state.(Photo: KUSA)
SUPERIOR -- Smaller cities
in Colorado are taking the lead in construction of a new kind of highway interchange that reduces the time drivers have to wait to turn left.
The newly opened McCaslin Bridge over U.S. 36 at the Louisville-Superior exit is the metro area's first Diverging Diamond Interchange, or D-D-I.
On the bridge, the design shifts drivers to the left side of the road, providing direct access to a highway on-ramp, so drivers don't have to wait at another traffic signal, or cross oncoming traffic lanes.
The mayor of Superior admits, at first, it seems odd.
“It’s a very different design. You’re driving for a portion of the time on the left side of the road and that really throws some people off and they can’t quite get their arms around that. But once you do it, it’s uh, makes a lot of sense, and I think it will continue catching on,” Superior Mayor Clint Folsom said.
Grand Junction was Colorado's first city to construct a D-D-I. Colorado Springs will be the third.
The National League of Cities recently invited Folsom to speak at its national city leader conference in a series called "Big Ideas for Small Cities." Mayor Folsom was asked to share one compelling and creative idea that made a dramatic difference to the future of their community.
He spoke about the Diverging Diamond Interchange as a revolution in transportation infrastructure.
“Certainly, if space considerations are a concern, budget considerations, and those always are, there’s a lot of different applications. I think you’re going to see these a lot more, in both Colorado and nationwide and worldwide,” Folsom said.
(© 2016 KUSA)