Virginia's First Diverging Diamond Interchange Now Open

VDOT activated the Diverging Diamond Interchange at Zion Crossroads Friday night,  forcing traffic into a criss-cross driving pattern.

Example of a diverging diamond interchange. Image from NDOR Communication Video

February 22, 2014

The nearly $7 million project is in effect.

The Diverging Diamond Interchange is new to the state of Virginia.

State Troopers were along the stretch of roadway directing traffic.

After the switch is complete, traffic will criss-cross at either end of the bridge. Instead of drivers making hard left turns, they will simply veer to the left.

Drivers will go through a traffic signal and follow their lane to the opposite side of the roadway.

Much of the work will be completed Friday night.

"So the actual work tonight will involve removing the existing pavement markings, putting new pavement markings in that direct traffic through the new x pattern, the Diverging Diamond pattern, and then re-positioning some cones and barricades and barriers so that we can move traffic into the correct pattern," says Lou Hatter, VDOT Spokesperson.

Project engineers say the new interchange will help with traffic flow and will actually be safer for drivers.

The traffic switch is expected to be completed by early Saturday morning. Full completion is expected in April.

All eyes were on VDOT as other regions in the state and across the country are watching closely to see how successful the switch was Friday night.

Two other Diverging Diamond Interchanges in the Roanoke area are currently in the design phase. Thirty are in use throughout the country.

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