Diverging Diamond Interchange Gets Green And Red Lights From Residents

By Rachel Martin - 21Alive

February 25, 2014 Updated Feb 25, 2014 at 12:19 AM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (21Alive) – Do you know what a diverging diamond is? We explain how the interchange design has people—and traffic—divided.

Officials with the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) say they could have come up with something other than a Diverging Diamond Interchange (DDI) at DuPont Rd. and I-69, but it just wasn't logical.

"Had we decided to build a new interchange, if we would have had to purchase right-of-way, we did not have to do any of those things, so the fact that diverging diamond could increase capacity without widening--an increased--a monumental benefit and a tax payer's savings,” said Toni Mayo, a Spokesperson for INDOT.

Mayo says it would have cost much more than $3.5 million, which is not only supposed to reduce the number of crashes by 50 percent, but also give drivers more "green light time."

With a DDI, drivers can go off to the right to merge onto I-69 or cross over to the left side of the road, guided by traffic signals and pavement markings, and get on the interstate that way.

Paul Ladd, who lives on Union Chapel Road, isn't buying it, though.

"I think the project really is a mistake,” he said.

At Monday night's informational meeting, Ladd said the DDI is a waste.

"My main concern is traffic. Traffic is not going to move any faster with this than it is today. We've got two red lights there today, we're going to have two red lights there when it's done,” he said.

Robert Lien, who lives off DuPont Road, thinks this type of project should have happened a long time ago.

"It'll ease traffic and it's going to create a lot of, what I would think, would be a lot less wrecks along there, which is what they need anyway. I know they have two hospitals right there in that area, but I don't think they want the business that bad,” Lien joked.

Because of the proximity of DuPont Hospital and Parkview Regional Medical Center (PRMC), the project will include a pedestrian walkway with signals.

INDOT officials say construction should begin in mid-April, weather permitting, and be completed by this November.

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