More accidents since new Joplin interchange - KOAM TV 7

More accidents since new Joplin interchange


Data released by the Joplin Police Department today shows a MODOT project designed to decrease accidents appears to be doing the opposite, at least for the time being.  

The diverging diamond interchange is at I-44 and Rangeline Road in Joplin.

This type of interchange is new to some people.  Some people say it's too new, right now, to be safe.

Right from the get go, opinions diverged.

"I was for it because it was a mess, getting on and off, and all the traffic, the way it was," says Joplin resident George Burk.

"I had driven back and forth to Springfield to work after the tornado, and they have some of those up there, and I didn't like them.  They're confusing," says Joplin resident Roxie Ward.

MODOT says Springfield was the first in the nation to use one of these diverging diamond interchanges.

"We have noticed, typically, about a 70% reduction in the number of those angled, right angle accidents.  T-bone accidents," says Dave Mitchell with MODOT.

Traffic is more regulated by stop lights, compared to conventional cloverleaf and ramp interchanges.

It's been six months since the diamond interchange was built in Joplin and Mitchell says, "What we've been told by the Joplin Police Department is that since the diverging diamond opened up for traffic, they've responded a lot less frequently to incidents in that area."

But numbers released by the Joplin Police Department show an increase of accidents at the new interchange.  There's been seven minor accidents since July, compared to only two during the same time period in 2012, and one in both 2011 and 2010.

No fatalities have happened at this interchange during this time period before or after the new interchange was built.

Combining all months of every year since 2010, data shows most accidents happened in 2013, after the new interchange was built.

It's no surprise to Burk, who is a car salesman.

"I've heard of several accidents.  We get people that come in doing insurance stuff and getting a new car because of wrecks that they've had," says Burk.

"Maybe they're not paying attention," says Ward.

"You still have people, it feels weird to get over on the left side of the road, still," says Mitchell.  "But those are signed very well, they're striped well.  Follow the lanes, and you'll be just fine."


Crash information compiled by the Joplin Police Department for the intersection of I-44 and Range Line Road.

Crashes By Severity at the intersection, by the same date range

Date Range Fatal Injuries Property Damage Only Cost
07/20/2010 through 01/21/2011 0 0 1 $8,200.00
07/20/2011 through 01/21/2012 0 0 1 $8,200.00
07/20/2012 through 01/21/2013 0 0 2 $16,400.00
07/20/2013 through 01/21/2014 0 0 7 $57,400.00


Total Crashes at the intersection, by month and year

Month 2010 2011 2012 2013
January 0 0 0 1
February 1 0 0 1
March 0 0 0 0
April 0 0 0 0
May 0 0 0 0
June 0 0 0 0
July 1 0 0 2
August 0 0 1 1
September 0 1 0 0
October 1 0 0 1
November 0 0 1 3
December 0 0 0 0
TOTAL 3 1 2 9


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