Untangling A Can of Worms

by William Merwarth, Senior Project Engr.; McFarland-Johnson Engineers, Binghampton, NY,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1990, Vol. 60, Issue 6, Pg. 45-47

Document Type: Feature article


Increasing traffic volumes combined with rush-hour delays and commuter complaints have spurred New York State DOT to improve the capacity of a major interchange near Rochester. The interchange, between I-490 and I/New York 590, is called the Can of Worms because of its substandard at-grade intersections between the two interstates and its troublesome, short weaving distances. Constructed in 1964 to create an outer loop around the city while linking it to the New York State Thruway, the Can was designed using state-of-the-art techniques. The capacity of the interchange, however, soon proved deficient when traffic volume and community growth surpassed predictions. With all the materials and reconstruction needed, redesign proved to be nothing short of a major challenge. But a dose of foresight, multiple design contracts, an accelerated schedule and an innovative New York State DOT pilot study of CADD kept the process moving. With design complete, the Can of Worms is currently under construction.

Subject Headings: Traffic capacity | Interchanges | Computer aided design | Traffic volume | Traffic delay | Commute | Intersections | Contracts | New York | United States

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