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US-127 diverging diamond will be the first in Mid-Michigan

Diverging Diamond interchange planned for I-94/US-127 interchange in Jackson County
Published: Feb. 19, 2021 at 4:15 PM EST
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BLACKMAN TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WILX) - The Michigan Department of Transportation will begin improvements at a busy interchange in Jackson County next month.

MDOT plans to install a diverging diamond at the I-94/U.S.-127 interchange just north of the Jackson city limits.

Diverging diamond interchanges are relatively new in road design. It temporarily forces traffic to switch sides of the road, so people are driving on the left.

The design is getting mixed reactions from drivers in Jackson.

“I think it can be a good thing,” said Jacquelynn Ion, who regularly drives through the interchange.

She never heard of a diverging diamond, but she likes the idea of putting one in Blackman Township.

“In Europe, they drive on the left side and they don’t seem to be having any problems,” Ion said.

Diverging diamond Kansas in 2008.

MDOT is also building a few on I-75 in metro Detroit.

The one on US-127 is part of MDOT’S plan to improve the I-94 corridor through Jackson County.

It would be the first in Mid-Michigan.

“We’ve been doing a lot of roundabouts in Jackson area too. It’s just because like I said safety, it’s efficient and less costly,” said Aaron Jenkins, MDOT spokesman.

Jenkins said this design made sense after a safety study was done in 2019.

“This helps improves the operations of the interchange. It efficiently addresses safety concerns and it has minimum impacts to the property,” he said.

But not everyone is on board.

Several people told News 10 on Facebook they’re worried about more crashes happening here.

“I don’t see any negatives happening aside from maybe accidents so we just have to be a little more cautious,” said Ion.

But Jenkins said this design actually reduces crashes.

“This is a significant improvement of safety since these movements are controlled by traffic signals. vehicles are guided by signs and pavement markings so it’s really easy to understand when you’re driving there,” said Jenkins.

The diverging diamond is part of the second phase of the I-94 improvement project. The Lansing Avenue and Elm Street bridges will also be replaced.

Construction is scheduled to start in March, with most of the work being done by fall 2022.

You can learn more about the project during a virtual meeting at 5 p.m. Wednesday.

Information to access the meeting:

Click here to join the Microsoft Teams Live Event

To listen by phone without using Internet, please call 248-509-0316.

Conference ID 450 202 263#.

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