Updated: 10/17/2013 6:31 AM KSTP.com By: Tim Sherno
A new kind of traffic interchange known as the diverging diamond will open in St.Cloud Thursday morning. The interchange is on County Road 120 as it passes over State Highway 15. The new pattern switches lanes of traffic to the opposite side of the road as they cross the bridge, putting drivers on the left side of the center line.
J.P. Gillach is a spokesman for the Minnesota Department of Transportation, he says the interchange is designed to maintain smooth traffic flow, "That flip flop only happens on the bridge, when you get to the other side, it goes back to how you typically expect it to be."
MnDOT's Gillach says the diverging diamond protects drivers from the risk of one of the most serious injury accidents. "Both the round-about and the diverging diamond interchange do use the same strategy, eliminating that left hand turn across traffic."
Gillach says as with any new interchange there will be a learning curve, "With the signals and the signing and the amount of outreach we've done already, hopefully it'll go just fine."
MNDOT expects to install double diamond interchanges in the Twin Cities Metro area.