The old Jefferson Street overcrossing was originally constructed in 1958 and consisted of a modified diamond configuration and two overpasses separated by only several hundred yards. The interchange has major geometric deficiencies and operational limitations that constricted traffic flow and could not accommodate the significant growth that has occurred since the interchange was originally designed. A much-improved connection to the cities of Indio, La Quinta and Coachella was needed to serve as many as 16,500 vehicles daily.
Michael Baker served as the lead designer for the $42.3 million I-10/Jefferson Street Interchange project, which includes two parallel 78-foot-wide by 440-foot-long bridges, resulting in a six-lane overcrossing designed for traffic entering and exiting the I-10 freeway from both directions. The new overcrossing also has dedicated turning lanes and shoulders wide enough to accommodate a bicycle lane and a sidewalk for northbound pedestrians. Five entrance and exit ramps were constructed along with one spread footing and four mechanically stabilized earth (MSE) retaining walls.
To help minimize traffic circulation impacts in a heavily-traveled area, a complex construction staging plan for the project was developed. The plan also had to account for the annual festival traffic surge and the substantial north-to-south corridor daily traffic volume. Construction of the interchange was completed in four stages to maintain full functionality of the throughout construction. Challenging aspects of the project included building the new interchange within the confines of the existing interchange and constructing new on- and off-ramps around live traffic.
The project demonstrated a commitment to sustainability by increasing capacity and incorporating ramp metering, erosion control, ADA accessibility, removal of hazardous materials and an architectural/aesthetic treatment to promote graffiti control.
The newly expanded interchange is more intuitive to navigate and eases traffic congestion for 1.4 million visitors to the region annually.
“Over the next 25 years, Indio’s population growth will likely continue in the area, increasing the demands placed on the city’s infrastructure. This improvement helps to address these demands by accommodating increased traffic, supporting the continued growth of Indio and the greater Coachella Valley. Our team was thrilled to serve the community and design such a high-profile project.”
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