By Jay Taylor
There is movement at the state capital toward funding improvements on State Route 347 from Maricopa to Interstate 10.
An overpass at Riggs Road also is moving forward and Arizona Department of Transportation is looking at syncing or even removing the traffic signals at Casa Blanca Road and the cement plant.
Also under consideration for improvement is the interchange at SR 347 and I-10.
That got us wondering what InMaricopa readers think about the proposed conversion of the interchange to a “diverging diamond.”
We asked, “Do you think the planned diverging-diamond interchange at SR 347 and I-10 will be beneficial to Maricopa?”
A plurality of our readers believe it will help. Our top response among the 260 votes, with 52.8%, was, “Yes, I think that it will ease the flow of Maricopa traffic at I-10.”
The balance of the votes was nearly evenly split between, “No, it is way too complicated and there will be more accidents,” with 26%, and, “What, exactly, is a diverging-diamond interchange?” at 21.2%.
A diverging-diamond interchange is designed to keep traffic exiting the highway or freeway moving onto surface streets rather than having vehicles stop at the top of the exit ramp. The closest example of such an interchange to Maricopa is at the Loop 202/South Mountain Freeway and Desert Foothills Parkway in Ahwatukee.
Diverging-diamond interchanges are considered advantageous in efficiency and safety. The U.S. Federal Highway Administration has promoted use of these interchanges since 2009.
The first known diverging-diamond interchanges were built in the 1970s in France.