(COLORADO SPRINGS) — State and local officials gathered at West Creek Park on Thursday for the ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the new Diverging Diamond Interchange open to motorists.

“This project here that’s successfully completed [is] our Research Parkway exit, [it] will help improve traffic safety across all kinds of motor vehicles, across cars, trucks, motorcycles,” said Colorado Governor Jared Polis.

Local officials said as the city continues to grow, there becomes a need for more infrastructure.

“I have worked with city leaders for 40 plus years and developers trying to develop all of Colorado Springs,” said Lisa Hickey, Transportation Commissioner for District 9. “And as it spreads East, we need these interchanges to proceed throughout the eastern edge of Colorado Springs in a smooth manner to our hospitals, to our commercial centers, and to and from our military bases.”

The new interchange has a unique design with a Diverging Diamond formation which is created to reduce delays for pedestrians and motorists by allowing free-flowing turns when entering and exiting Powers onto Research.

“The flow of traffic will be much smoother, which enables people to plan their trips well, and therefore they can smoothly proceed through the entire interchange and all up and down the Power Boulevard,” said Hickey.

During the ribbon-cutting ceremony, local officials said the construction for the roadway finished several months ahead of schedule.

Local and state officials gathering at West Creek Park to share remarks about the Diverging Diamond Interchange.

“This is about getting people to the places they need to go, you know, to their homes, to their schools, to businesses, you know, to the grocery store,” stated Shoshana Lew, Executive Director, CDOT.

This project aims to reduce traffic on Research Parkway and improve safety on the roads.

“Traffic has only been increasing here, and it was getting really bad with the signal that people had to go through,” said Governor Polis.

El Paso County Commissioner for District 1, Holly Williams, discussed how this new roadway will help traffic with schools nearby.

“It will help because instead of going five or seven different ways or getting caught in traffic, hopefully now everybody can get to school on time and not having any accidents,” said Williams. “That was one of the big problems, was getting many of our students to the high school from this side all the way back over to the other side.”

CDOT shared several tips for driving safely on this new roadway.

“People need to pay attention to each other when they’re on the road. You know, don’t drive distracted, don’t drive under the influence, and be mindful,” said Lew.