The Diverging Diamond Interchange Project Has Been Delayed


Dirt problems have caused a minor delay in the diverging diamond interchange (DDI) project at Center Junction between Cape Girardeau and Jackson, pushing the project completion back by more than a week. The project’s general contractor, Penzel Construction of Jackson, had hoped to complete the $17.4 million interchange project at the junction of Interstate 55 and U.S. 61 by the end of next week. That would have been a full month ahead of the original completion deadline of November 1, 2021. Officials said the interchange will likely not be fully open to traffic until the week of October 10th and they had some problems with dirt that delayed the project a week. They sayu that right now, they think they will start the DDI (traffic flow) the second week of October and will probably open up one lane of northbound I-55 about that same time. The problem with the dirt was some of it on the north and south ends of the new northbound bridge along I-55 had “too much moisture” in it to allow for final concrete pours on top of it, officials say. These concrete pours will connect either end of the northbound bridge to existing I-55 pavement. Officials say they finally got it resolved and they poured (the south side) Friday and Saturday. They say they still have one more pour to do, (but) they have to wait a few days to get strength on what was poured on Saturday so they can get trucks on it to pour the other side. The project, which has included replacement of both northbound and southbound I-55 bridges over U.S. 61 and a complete redesign of the Center Junction interchange, began in early 2020.

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