Divergent Diamond Intersection Proposed in Lancaster PA
PennDOT has an idea to reduce congestion at the Ephrata Township interchange of Routes 222 and 322. Their idea is to have traffic drive on the other side of the road. You read that correctly, they want to have traffic temporarily cross over to the left side by way of a divergent diamond (also called a double crossover) intersection.
PennDOT Already Using this Technique
The proposal was announced by David Fratangeli, a project manager for the state of Pennsylvania. If PennDOT decides to move forward, a consultant will be hired to look at the plan, but the planning alone could take up to 3 years. There is already a divergent diamond intersection under construction in Washington County, on Interstate 70. There is another one at the Shrewsbury interchange on I-83 which will likely be the first one completed. The intersection has already been changed and construction is slated to begin in early 2017.
Advantages of Double Crossover Design
The divergent diamond concept was originated in France, and several have been built in the United States within the last several years. The design is meant to reduce the number of points where traffic crosses, eliminating left turns across traffic. A large number of accidents at the Ephrata interchange occur during left turns across traffic. Circular roundabouts have been used elsewhere, but the volume of traffic and the close proximity of intersections on each side of the interchange render that plan unfeasible.
This is a video explanation of a Divergent Diamond intersection, taken from the North Carolina Department of Transportation.
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