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The New Diverging Diamond Interchanges

MnDOT Raising Awareness on Diverging Diamond Interchanges (DDI)

MnDOT has begun construction of a DDI at the Elk Run Interchange at Pine Island in Olmsted County. Beginning 2012 a DDI will be constructed at the intersection of State Highway 15 and Stearns County Road 120 in Sartell/St. Cloud. What are Diverging Diamond Interchanges and how do we drive them?

DDI’s

MnDOT explains the diverging diamond interchange “…allows two directions of traffic to temporarily cross to the left side of the road…This movement provides easier access to a busy divided highway.” Pedestrians and bicycles will cross the interchange in the middle of the road between lanes. Protective barriers are in place on either side of the walking path.

Both areas have shown an increase in traffic and safety is a concern. Benefits of using diverging diamond interchanges are:

  • Reducing congestion.
  • Improved safety because turns are free flowing instead of sharp left turns.
  • Reduced traffic signal phases.
  • Better sight distance at turns.
  • Lower chance of conflict with other vehicles.

How Do You Drive A Diverging Diamond Interchange?

MnDOT has excellent resources for learning how to drive in a DDI and recommend checking it out. To learn more about DDI’s and view videos on the topic, please visit http://www.dot.state.mn.us/roadwork/divdiamonds.html.

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