The new double-crossover diamond interchange on Harrodsburg Road passed its first rush-hour test Monday, but officials warned that traffic delays were possible with more roadwork.
Monday morning rush hour went smoothly for most drivers navigating the new design at the New Circle Road interchanges, city officials said.
"We have not had any significant problems with the crossover double-diamond exchange," said Sherelle Roberts, spokeswoman for Lexington police.
After being closed since Friday night, the revamped part of the road was expected to open for the first time Monday morning, but the street carried its first traffic by about 10 a.m. Sunday because workers finished early. Rush-hour drivers were exposed to the new design for the first time Monday.
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Once all Harrodsburg Road work is completed, the new pattern is intended to ease congestion and reduce accidents on the stretch of Harrodsburg between Pasadena Drive and Beaumont Centre. The area, which includes the New Circle Road interchanges, has had the highest crash rate of any major thoroughfare in Lexington.
Steve Cummins, traffic signal system manager for Lexington, urged people to "use caution and patience" traveling the area as work continues on other parts of the project.
"Certainly, you can expect delays," he said.
The final result, expected to be done in November, will include three lanes of traffic in each direction; major reworking of the Beaumont Centre and Pasadena intersections; a path for bikes and pedestrians; new sidewalks; and widening of Pasadena and Alexandria Drive, according to a release from the state transportation department. This new work will require lane closings at times, but not another total interchange closing.