State gives update on changes for Baldwin County interchange - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

State gives update on changes for Baldwin County interchange

DAPHNE, AL (WALA) -

FOX10 News is committed to keeping track of efforts to improve road safety.

Some big changes are coming to a busy stretch of I-10 in Baldwin County.

State transportation officials will re-configure an entire interchange, and people who live and work in the area are already giving their feedback.

If you have ever driven through I-10 and Highway 181 in the Daphne area, you know how busy traffic can be.

Officials with the Alabama Department of Transportation, or ALDOT, will soon start building what's called a diverging diamond interchange here.

It essentially makes the left turn to get on the interstate like a right turn, without waiting on a red light.

ALDOT Engineer Vince Calametti said, "It's much safer. It reduces conflict points.  It reduces the number of traffic signal phases so that you can put more traffic through the interchange." 
 
Wednesday, Calametti spoke to members of the Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce about the project and has been getting reaction from people who live and work in the area. 

Marcus Mitchell lives near the interchange. 
 
He said, "That's a very congested area, lot of accidents in that area, so, it's really refreshing to hear what's going on." 
 
But Kevin Spriggs owns three businesses along Highway 181, and is worried that, with our heavy rains, the drainage system in the area is too old to handle such a big project.

Spriggs said, "Part of the problem is you increase the amount of surface by 50 percent, you're draining through an one inch pipe over a thousand feet of four lane highway.  I don't have to be an engineer to know what's a challenge."    

Calametti said, "At our public meeting, we had some concerns raised from some of the public as far as drainage.  We are out reviewing that drainage right now."

Calametti said that process should only take several weeks to a month and that construction should begin on the interchange by spring of next year.

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