VTrans: 'Diverging diamond' could ease congestion at Exit 16

Published: Apr. 10, 2019 at 8:21 AM EDT
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VTrans officials say safety is behind a proposed $8 million new traffic pattern for exit 16 in Colchester, but the project continues to be mired in the courts.

VTrans has a new website to help educate the public on its "diverging diamond" plan, the first of its kind in the state. The long-awaited project would create a crossover pattern so vehicles could use slip lanes to enter or leave the interstate. Officials say it should help ease congestion and delays during peak hours. Turn lanes, pedestrian and bike facilities are also being added.

The project also fulfills the traffic improvements that Costco is required to have in order to open its long-awaited gas station.

But so far, construction has been blocked in the courts. Maplefields owner Skip Vallee and the Conservation Law Foundation lost a decision in state environmental court last summer opposing the VTrans plan, but they will be arguing their appeal before the Vermont Supreme Court next week. They have also filed a case in federal court saying the state rushed the project through the regulatory process and did not perform an environmental assessment or an environmental impact statement.

VTrans officials say they continue to move forward with the project nevertheless. They say they hope to begin construction next spring and that it will take about two years.

The Exit 16 DDI project page is now live! http://www.exit16ddi.vtransprojects.vermont.gov/ VTrans will be improving the...

Posted by City of Winooski on Tuesday, April 9, 2019