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The new diverging diamond interchange at National Avenue and James River Freeway (Route 60) is nearing completion, and the way people drive through that part of south Springfield soon will change, the Missouri Department of Transportation said.
The transition began this past weekend.
The National Avenue bridge over the James River Freeway was closed late Friday, July 9, for necessary last-minute work and reopened Monday, July 12, as a new diverging diamond interchange.
Ambulance, police and fire departments were notified of the weekend bridge closing and had plans in place to respond to emergencies in the area, especially when heading toward Cox South Hospital near the interchange and St. John’s Hospital further north along National Avenue.
Drivers over the weekend were able to reach CoxHealth and other medical facilities as well as the many businesses near the National Avenue-James River Freeway interchange, although it may take a few extra minutes to get there during the transition.
Access on Primrose Street to CoxHealth facilities on either side of National Avenue will not change.
Here’s what to expect:
1. National Avenue bridge over the freeway was closed at 9 p.m. Friday, July 9, although the ramps remained open for right turns only onto and off of ramps.
Pavement work, striping, sign installation and traffic signal adjustments had to be made on the bridge without traffic going across.
2. National Avenue bridge over the freeway reopened at 4 a.m. Monday, July 12, in the diverging diamond interchange configuration.
* Drivers traveling north on National Avenue heading for Cox South Hospital will have to make a left turn into the Cox entrance, using the far left lane as a temporary left-turn lane until July 26.
* Drivers traveling south on National Avenue heading for CoxHealth facilities to the east are encouraged to turn left onto Primrose Street (and avoid turning left onto Bradford Parkway).
1. A new underpass underneath National Avenue opens at 4 a.m. Monday, July 26, to serve Cox South Hospital and other CoxHealth facilities on either side of National Avenue.
2. Starting July 26, drivers traveling north on National Avenue heading for Cox South Hospital will have to turn right into Bradford Parkway and right again to a new underpass underneath National Avenue.
3. Starting July 26, left turns will no longer be permitted from northbound National Avenue into Cox South Hospital entrance.
4. Starting July 26, left turns will no longer be permitted from southbound National Avenue into Bradford Parkway.
Information on web sites
These traffic changes and tips on how to drive the new diverging diamond interchange at National Avenue and the James River Freeway can be found on web sites provided by MoDOT, the City of Springfield and CoxHealth.
www.coxhealth.com (click on Construction Updates).