Area residents make their voices heard regarding interchange
The diverging diamond interchange is nearing completion
VIERA VOICE Austin Rushnell
Since the beginning of construction on the diverging diamond in Viera, local residents have been making their voices heard about the new changes.
When the new interchange was announced two years ago, people expressed their thoughts on Facebook.
“From someone that moved down to the area from Naperville, Illinois, that has a diverging diamond, they seem strange at first, but they work well,” wrote Alicia Carson, who is currently owner and director of Graceful Gifts Dance Academy in Cocoa. “It truly helps with traffic flow.”
Although many others came to comment on how they had experienced similar successes in other states, not everyone was so enthusiastic about the coming interchange.
“Useless engineering,” local resident Steve Beck commented. “(It may create) more confusion among the roadways which raises the chance for accidents, and more taxpayer (money) wasted. How are we benefiting from this?”
Some others were more concerned with the local drivers than the interchange itself, considering instead the population of senior drivers that live in the Viera area.
“This is going to be a steep learning curve for our seniors,” noted Ian Fine, a realtor for Melbourne-based Curri Properties, LLC.
One of the largest issues facing the new interchange at Viera Boulevard and I-95 is the problem of how to traverse from East to West Viera in a golf cart since using the new diverging diamond is off limits.
Today, many local residents are concerned about the golf cart issue, and some raised their concerns to the office of District 4 County Commissioner Curt Smith, whose office resides on Judge Fran Jamieson Way in the heart of Viera.
“There’s a variety of feedback (that we’ve heard),” said Pat Woodard, Smith's chief legislative aide. “A lot of people are apprehensive about how (the diverging diamond) is going to operate, why it’s designed the way it is and various things like that. Other people have seen the (diverging) diamond interchange before, and say they’ve driven on it, it works great and they’re glad they’re doing it.
“There’s mostly mixed comments on it,” Woodard continued. “Ones who have never tried it are apprehensive of it, (which are) 60, 65 percent of those type, the other ones are those that have done it before and understand how it works, and they’re supportive, (which make up) around 40 percent of those. It’s kind of a mixed bag.”
For more information about the diverging diamond in Viera, go to transystems. com/