Busy I-69 Interchange To Be Revamped

By Corinne Rose

January 23, 2013 Updated Jan 23, 2013 at 7:12 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (www.incnow.tv) -- Fort Wayne is about to become a guinea pig for a new traffic pattern at one of the busiest -- and most dangerous -- interchanges of I-69.

If you've used the exits at Dupont Road and I-69, especially at rush hour, you know how congested it can get. Well, a new project is designed to change all of that, but it will be confusing, at least at first.

The $1.7 million project called a diverging diamond will be one of the first in the state.

It will redirect traffic over the bridge, then you will cross over to the left side of the bridge, where you could easily merge left onto southbound I-69.

Or the traffic flow will cross you back over to the right side of the road once you're past the highway.

Nearly 31,000 vehicles use the ramps every day at I-69 and Dupont.

"Will go into its own lane, so it won't have to worry about merging when it comes off the interstate, so traffic will just flow more freely," says Mary Foster, an INDOT spokeswoman.

By eliminating stop lights and left turns at the top of the exit ramps and on the bridge, the new pattern is expected to cut the number of crashes in half.

2011 saw 36 collisions there, five of them had injuries and two-thirds of them were rear end crashes.

The bridge was built in the early 1960s, replaced and widened in the mid-90s, and can accommodate the new design, which also allows for pedestrians.

80 percent of the project will be federally funded, and INDOT has already approved paying the 20%.

Work is expected to begin next year and last just the one construction season.

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