FORT WAYNE – Work to transform Interstate 69’s Dupont Road interchange into a configuration where vehicles will travel on the left side of the road begins Monday.
Weather permitting, crews will reduce the speed limit to 35 mph on Dupont Road and put in lane restrictions on the northbound I-69 off ramp to Dupont.
The rest of the week will see the removal of pavement markings, placement of new, temporary markings, signal work and lots of orange barrels.
The $3.5 million project will take all summer and most of the fall. Motorists can use alternative routes, such as the new Union Chapel interchange at Exit 317, to avoid delays.
The project will transform the Dupont interchange from a traditional diamond configuration to a diverging diamond design, the first in the state. INDOT plans another diverging diamond for Interstate 65 at Greenwood, but that project is on hold until 2015.
A diverging diamond uses traffic signals to direct vehicles from the right side of the road to the left. That makes left turns – which usually require waiting for cross-traffic to clear – as easy as a traditional right turn.
The interchange is one of the most congested in the region, with long delays caused by traffic trying to turn left. Delays get so bad that cars waiting to turn left onto southbound I-69 sometimes block traffic trying to turn left from northbound I-69 onto westbound Dupont. That can cause traffic to back up on the off ramp, which is dangerous.