Diverging diamond interchange works as expected for Cape, Jackson

The diverging diamond interchange at the junction of Interstate 55 and U.S. 61 is now open, and so far the new design is working as envisioned.

This has been a major, multimillion dollar project, with initial discussions dating back to the summer of 2018. Construction got underway in mid-February 2020, aided early on by limited traffic because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

One of the concerns before construction began was how traffic would work during construction, as many people use this route between Jackson and Cape Girardeau on a daily basis. City leaders and chamber leaders got involved, and ultimately the stakeholders were able to navigate a plan to keep traffic moving during much of construction.

Hats off to general contractor Penzel Construction, a local company involved in many area projects. This is a signature development impacting commerce, and their work to keep the project on schedule — despite challenges beyond their control — was key.

If you haven't been through the interchange, we encourage you to check it out. Slow down as you're making your way through. Ultimately, however, we believe this is a good thing for the area and are pleased to see the project finished.