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Proposed new-to-Richmond interchange design could alleviate Short Pump traffic

The diverging diamond style intersection would be the first in the Richmond area and help alleviate congestion, Henrico traffic engineers say.

Trevor Dickerson

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The heavily congested Short Pump area could eventually see relief in the form of a new highway interchange, and, if approved, would be the first of its kind in Richmond.

A typical diverging diamond traffic pattern

A typical diverging diamond traffic pattern

Henrico planning officials are proposing construction of what’s known as a diverging diamond interchange to connect Interstate 64 to North Gayton Road, a segment of roadway that was just built in the past few years and connects West Broad Street to Pouncey Tract Road.

The county plans to present the Virginia Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration with an “Interchange Justification Report” to make a case for the interchange. If approved, the project is estimated to cost over $60 million and would likely not be completed before 2025.

So what is a diverging diamond interchange, exactly?

[graphiq id=”9HK4sWZAiTr” title=”Diverging diamond interchange” width=”500″ height=”532″ url=”https://w.graphiq.com/w/9HK4sWZAiTr” ]

According to Advanced Transportations Solutions, one of the firms behind the design of these intersections, the benefits are many:

  • Fewer conflict points (14 for DDI, 26 for conventional)
  • Conflict points spread out throughout interchange
  • Better sight distance at turns
  • Virtually no driver confusion (FHWA study and new DDI observations in Springfield, MO)
  • Traffic calming features when desired
  • Wrong way entry to ramps extremely difficult
  • Pedestrian crossings are shorter

We’ll follow this story as it progresses.

Interested in learning more about diverging diamond interchanges? Get all the info right here.

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Trevor Dickerson is the Editor and Co-Founder of RVAHub.