New Traffic Pattern Frustrates Drivers, Business Owners
Some drivers and business owners are giving a thumbs-down to the unique new traffic pattern at Zion Crossroads.
Drivers are saying the new diverging diamond interchange and the construction surrounding it is tacking time on their commute. Several businesses say they are hurting too.
Business has been slower at Made in Asia Chinese and Thai cuisine, and manager Tiffany Lynn blames the diverging diamond.
"The construction has been a headache around here there's a lot of our customers who complain they didn't want to come out here because they don't understand the traffic pattern,” Lynn said.
It’s the first interchange of its kind in Virginia. Traffic on Route 15 swaps lanes and drives on the left side of the road over Interstate 64.
"It's just a hassle, it's just more of a hassle. It wasn't this bad at first; they should have just left it I think," said driver Brandon Scott.
Getting through the one-lane construction zone isn't easy for cars, and it's even harder for semi-trucks.
"You got to swerve across so you got to make sure you don't hit anything. It's pretty tight you only have about maybe a foot, foot and a half on both sides so you’re trying not to hit anything,” said Alexander Fleming, who drives a semi-truck.
Fleming says he sees a lot of drivers ignore the lights altogether.
"Once everybody leaves people just start, they just start running the red light,” he said.
Virginia Department of Transportation spokesman Lou Hatter says the congestion is the heaviest during peak hours, so frustrated drivers should plan their trips around those times. He says closing all lanes except one is a must - it's the only way to keep workers safe in the construction zone.
Hatter says VDOT has made adjustments to signal timing to move the traffic through as fast as possible.
Until the end of the project - set for mid-April - he says drivers will just need to be patient.
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