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Diverging Diamond Interchange at Zion Crossroads Opens Friday - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Diverging Diamond Interchange at Zion Crossroads Opens Friday

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A major traffic change took place Friday for drivers in Zion Crossroads at the intersection of Interstate 64 and Route 15 - and it might cause some backups as drivers acclimate to the new traffic pattern.

The diverging diamond interchange is a nearly $7 million project which aims to improve the busy intersection. The traffic switch began around 9 p.m. Friday.

Crews will begin working on different legs of the interchange to switch the traffic pattern over to the new diverging diamond, which eliminates traditional left turns that would normally cross oncoming traffic.

Police and flaggers were on hand Friday night to help drivers through the changes.

"The reason that we're doing the switch over on Friday evening into Saturday morning is that that's the lowest traffic volumes of the week so if you are traveling from 9 p.m. into early Saturday we ask that you avoid the area if possible," said Virginia Department of Transportation spokesperson Stacy Londrey.

The new traffic pattern should fully take effect early Saturday morning. Pilot vehicles will lead the first cars through the interchange so that they can see where the lanes move and get a feel for the new configuration of traffic.

"It will be different for everyone but new signage will be in place, traffic signals will be operational, and VDOT crews will be available if needed if problems arise," Londrey said.

Even after the final traffic pattern is in place Saturday, there will still be one lane closed in each direction on Route 15 as crews continue construction. They will still have to make final touches to the pavement and they'll have to plant grass and do some landscaping. The project is slated to be completely finished on April 15.

Virginia Department of Transportation Press Release

CULPEPER — On Feb. 21 the Virginia Department of Transportation will conduct an overnight traffic switch on the Zion Crossroads diverging diamond interchange (DDI) project on Route 15 in Louisa County.

Beginning at 9 p.m., all traffic through the work zone will be controlled by flaggers and police. Only through travel on Rt. 15 and right turns on and off Interstate 64 will be permitted. Vehicles wishing to turn left on and off the I-64 ramps will be redirected using short detours.

VDOT advises motorists of intermittent stops and delays on Rt. 15 during the traffic switch, which will be completed early Saturday morning. Traffic on I-64 will not be affected.

In the event of inclement weather, the switch will occur overnight Feb. 22, beginning at 7 p.m.

When driving the new DDI configuration, motorists will proceed through a traffic signal at the interchange and follow their lane to the opposite side of the roadway. Motorists needing to access Interstate 64 will merge left using an on-ramp without having to stop or wait for oncoming traffic to pass. Through traffic proceeds to a second traffic signal and follows their lane back to the right side of the road.

Construction activity on the $6.88-million DDI will continue through its April 15 completion date. The interchange is being built by Corman Construction Inc. and is the first of its kind in Virginia. For more information and background, visit the Zion Crossroads Interchange project page on VDOT’s website.

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