Late last week, a major road project in Grand Rapids, Michigan, reached a milestone.
Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) crews erected beams for the first of two bridges being built on Cascade Road to carry drivers over I-96.
The sweeping I-96/Cascade Road interchange project includes several steps. In the coming weeks, the interchange will be transitioned into what is known as a diverging diamond interchange (DDI); the two loop-style exit ramps will be taken out and four new ramps will replace them.
Transportation and infrastructure experts said DDIs make movement through interchanges smoother, which increases safety.
The Cascade Road bridge over I-96 will consist of a pair of bridges over the road -- one eastbound, the other westbound.
Additionally, Cascade Road will be rebuilt between Cascade West Parkway and Kenmoor Avenue; the road also will be resurfaced between Kenmoor and Forest Hill avenues. New traffic lights will be installed on Cascade Road at Cascade West Parkway, East Paris Avenue, Kenmoor Avenue and the new ramps.
In addition, sidewalks will be poured along Cascade Road between East Paris and Kenmoor avenues.
The project began last July and is expected to be completed by this December.
To see an animated depiction of the finished Cascade Road project, log on to http://1.usa.gov/1M3DRJI. More about DDIs can be found online at www.divergingdiamond.com.