FDOT will host open house on planned Diverging Diamond Interchange Oct. 13


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The Diverging Diamond Interchange (DDI) in Viera would be the second in the state of Florida.

photo courtesy of FDOT

Florida Department of Transportation officials will host an open house Oct. 13 from 5 to 7 p.m. in Viera to discuss a controversial "Diverging Diamond Interchange" planned for Viera Boulevard at Interstate 95.

The Diverging Diamond Interchange design, a new concept for Florida, moves traffic from the right side of the road to the left to make for easier left turns onto the interstate, with lanes then continuing back to the right for through traffic.

At the Viera Boulevard and I-95 interchange, east-west vehicles from the right side of Viera Boulevard will cross over at a traffic light to the left. Once past the intersection, the lanes shift back to the right side of the road at a second traffic light.

FDOT officials will present a two-hour open house at Viera Regional Park Community Center, 2174 Judge Fran Jamieson Way. FDOT updated the Space Coast Transportation Planning Organization about the project on Sept. 8.

At the meeting, attendees can view videos and display boards and ask questions of engineers working on the project, said Mark Owen, a senior transportation engineer with Orlando consulting, engineering and architectural firm TranSystems and a project manager and consultant for the Viera job.

“I’m going to have all my geeky engineers there,” Owen said. “These are the people who are used to sitting in front of three computer screens designing it, and so if anybody has any questions we’ll be there to talk to people one on one.”

 In 2014, about 300 residents showed up at a FDOT public hearing in Viera to complain about the proposed interchange. About two dozen spoke out against the plan, citing concerns about increased traffic, accidents and noise.

The interchange, a $14 million joint project between the state and The Viera Co., is meant to ease traffic tie-ups at the Fiske Boulevard and I-95 interchange to the north and the Wickham Road interchange to the south, FDOT planners say.

Work could start in fall 2017 and the project, currently in its design stage, could wrap up 14 to 16 months later, Owen said. The Viera Co. is providing right-of-way for the project.

The project also would widen Viera Boulevard from two lanes to four lanes west of Tavistock Drive to west of Porada Drive and from east of Herons’ Landing to U.S. 1.

The interchange would be the second built in Florida. Another Diverging Diamond Interchange is under construction at Interstate 75 and University Parkway in Sarasota, according to the website divergingdiamond.com. Others are planned in Fort Myers, Naples, Miami and Jacksonville.

Some 69 Diverging Diamond Interchanges are either planned or under construction across the U.S. The first was built in Springfield, Mo. in 2009.