Roanoke, VA – The City of Roanoke, with assistance from the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), held a ribbon-cutting ceremony today to open the new diverging diamond interchange at Valley View Boulevard and Interstate 581 at Exit 3C. The new interchange will officially be open to traffic tonight, just in time for the holiday shopping season, and is only the second of its kind in the commonwealth.
“This improved and expanded interchange will be an important asset to the city's economy. Not only will it help traffic flow more efficiently for this popular shopping location, it will also open up opportunities for future economic development in this area of the city,” said Roanoke City Mayor Sherman Lea.
About the Project
The $63.9-million project completed the partial interchange at I-581 and Valley View Boulevard by building an off-ramp from southbound I-581 onto Valley View Boulevard and an on-ramp from Valley View Boulevard onto northbound I-581. In addition, the bridge over I-581 was widened to four lanes with turn lanes onto the I-581 ramps, a new pedestrian bridge for the Lick Run Greenway was built over I-581 and sound walls were installed along portions of I-581.
Benefits of the Diverging Diamond Interchange
A new and innovative design, the diverging diamond interchange increases safety and moves a higher volume of vehicles without increasing the number of lanes. A diverging diamond interchange:
•Reduces congestion by allowing traffic to keep moving through an intersection.
•Improves safety by allowing free flowing turns when entering or exiting the roadway, eliminating left turns against oncoming traffic and reducing the number of traffic signal phases.
•Provides better sight distance at turns and fewer chances to conflict with other vehicles, which results in fewer crashes.
“One of the biggest benefits to a diverging diamond interchange is that it provides drivers with more green light time as compared to traditional intersections,” explained Ken King, VDOT’s Salem District engineer.
Driving through the Diverging Diamond Interchange
When driving through the interchange, drivers will travel temporarily to the left side of the road. Diverging Diamond Highlight Both Ways Drivers should:
•Proceed through the traffic signal at the entrance to the interchange and follow their lane to the opposite side of the roadway.
•Pay close attention and follow signs and pavement markings that will guide them through the interchange.
•Be patient with other drivers in the area. Resources for drivers, including graphics and videos, are available on VDOT’s website at www.virginiadot.org/valleyview.
Beginning Monday evening, people can join the conversation on Twitter by sharing their experience driving through the new interchange at #LeftSideRke.