- Associated Press - Thursday, August 13, 2015

MARION, Ill. (AP) - The first diverging diamond interchange has opened in Illinois at Interstate 57 and Illinois 13 near Marion.

The interchange opened to traffic on Wednesday. The (Carbondale) Southern Illinoisan reports (http://bit.ly/1Txrkib ) that Marion now has three exits from the interstate and new potential for commercial development.

The Illinois Department of Transportation paid $40 million and Marion paid $15 million of the project’s costs.

The unique design at one point criss-crosses traffic at a lighted signal, sending motorists to left lanes instead of right lanes. The design already has been used in other states.

IDOT says the design will improve interstate access and alleviate traffic on Illinois 13, which carries about 36,000 vehicles a day.

A similar interchange is planned in the Chicago area at Interstate 90 and Elmhurst Road.

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Information from: Southern Illinoisan, http://www.southernillinoisan.com

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