Viera drivers test out diverging diamond interchange


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The current adjustment phase for Viera drivers should provide for a smooth transition to the diverging diamond interchange. There might be some delays until the final phase of the DDI project is complete. The modified version of the future DDI diverts traffic into a single lane.

Austin Rushnell

In February, Viera commuters tested out a modified version of the new diverging diamond interchange (DDI) at Viera Boulevard and Interstate 95.

Although the DDI will not be fully operational until sometime in June 2019, a single lane crisscross pattern is now in use. The diverted lanes currently are operational only for the overpass portion of the future interchange.  Ramps will not be completed for several months.

“This is the region’s first diverging diamond interchange, where traffic crosses to the left side of the road to safely navigate through the I-95 overpass,” said Jessica Ottaviano, a communication specialist for the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT).

The diverging diamond design provides for a more efficient flow of traffic through intersections by allowing continuous navigation. East- and west-bound traffic is temporarily diverted from the right to the left side of Viera Boulevard in a crisscross pattern. Concurrently, interstate traffic enters or exits with a slight curve.

“This is expected to increase mobility and safety for drivers that are exiting and entering I-95,” said Ottaviano, “as well as relieve interchange congestion at Fiske Boulevard to the north and Wickham Road to the south.”

According to studies completed by the FDOT, diverging diamond interchanges provide for increased safety since there are fewer conflicts between east- and west-bound traffic.  The DDI design eliminates left-hand turns that face approaching traffic.

The Wickham Road and Fiske Boulevard exits currently become very congested during peak hours, creating safety issues and adding to commute times for drivers. With Viera’s projected population of 60,000, the new exit will be a welcome addition for current and future residents and businesses.

The modified DDI gives Viera motorists a chance to adapt to the diamond configuration during the months prior to the final stages of the project.

“Dates could change, but this is the way things look now,” Ottaviano said.

The Viera Boulevard bridge above Interstate 95 first opened to traffic in 2007, when development in West Viera was just getting started. During the past decade, a building boom in Viera has led to more increased traffic.

The state has contributed $17 million for construction, while the Viera Company has contributed $2.5 million, according to the FDOT.

“The project is a partnership between the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and the Viera Corporation where the FDOT funded construction, and the developer covered various aspects of right of way, design and environmental study,” Ottaviano said.

The Viera diverging diamond is one of two such projects in Brevard County. A DDI also is under construction at Interstate 95 and St. Johns Heritage Parkway, north of Micco Road in Palm Bay. The current estimated completion is later this year in the fall.

For a simulation of the completed DDI, go to vieravoice.com.

Drivers should keep in mind that any diagrams or videos provided are an estimation of the completed project and might not be an exact replica.