The proposed interchange for Ankeny.

A major road construction project is getting underway in central Iowa and once completed, motorists in the area will travel through what’s called a diverging diamond interchange (DDI).

It’s happening in Ankeny and Iowa DOT construction engineer Benjamin Hucker says the DDI will be something new for most drivers.

“This will be the second diverging diamond interchange in Iowa,” Hucker said. “The first one is located on the west side of the (Des Moines) metro. That was opened a couple years ago.”

The new design should help ease traffic congestion and reduce the prevalence of severe crashes. Nearly 60,000 vehicles per day travel through the area,

Benjamin Hucker explains the interchange.

which is the interchange at First Street in Ankeny with Interstate 35. It’s one of the biggest road overhauls happening in Iowa.

“It’s certainly a large project, but our corridor work in Council Bluffs and Sioux City and the I-235 corridor work (in Des Moines) about 10 years ago was bigger than this…but it’s certainly one of our larger projects,” Hucker said. The $50 million project is expected to take three years to complete.

The current I-35 interchange at First Street in Ankeny often results in back-ups on the ramps and the interstate. Hucker said any upcoming closures to I-35 in Ankeny for the construction work will be temporary and only during the overnight hours.