May 1, 2013
A boom in business at Zion Crossroads means the Interstate 64 interchange is undergoing major changes.
"Even though I'm semi-retired, I wanted to see just how the traffic flow was going to work during and after construction," said Gary Sarkozi. He was one of several residents in the Zion Crossroads area who met with VDOT officials Wednesday night to discuss the coming road changes.
The new design is a diverging diamond interchange, and will be the first one in the state of Virginia. The unique design has some drivers concerned.
"It is a little bit of a different traffic pattern, in that you drive on the left side of the road through the main part of the interchange," said Stacey Londrey, a spokesperson for VDOT. "But the benefit is that when you switch to the left side, you can make the left turn onto the interstate on ramp without having to stop at a traffic light or wait on oncoming traffic."
Londrey said the design is safer and more efficient. It's also the least expensive option, with total costs hovering around seven million dollars.
Construction is scheduled to begin in June and could cause some minor traffic problems. One lane will be shut down in each direction on Route 15 this summer.
"Motorists should plan for a little extra time if they commute that way for work." Londrey said. "We shouldn't expect too many interruptions on I-64. It should be pretty smooth going just a little more congested than normal."
Most residents in the area welcome the new traffic design, saying it's a sign of good things to come for the growing area.
"I'm excited about it becoming a growth area and contributing to the tax base," said Sarkozi.
The diverging diamond interchange is scheduled to be completed by spring of 2014.