Virginia

Merge Left to Go Straight: Diamond Intersection Opening in Stafford County

Transportation experts say intersections of this kind reduce crashes and congestion

zz diamond intersection
Virginia Department of Transportation

Imagine you're driving toward a highway overpass. You just go straight to cross over the highway, right?

A new I-95 overpass in Virginia will have drivers merge left through an X-shaped intersection, switching sides with opposing traffic, in order to continue straight.

State transportation officials say it will make sense once you've tried it.

The intersection with what's known as a diverging diamond interchange is set to open Dec. 7 over I-95 at Exit 140 (Courthouse Road) in Stafford County. The intersection is part of a $195 million transportation project in the area.

The diamond interchange will "lower the number of conflict points between vehicles by eliminating left turns," the Virginia Department of Transportation said Thursday in a statement.

Once drivers are on the left side of the road, they can merge left onto the highway without having to make a left turn against oncoming traffic. Transportation experts say intersections of this kind reduce crashes and congestion.

Similar intersections were created in Haymarket, Louisa and Roanoke, Virginia. 

Multiple signs and pavement markings will show drivers how the new intersection works. Go here to read more about the project.

Still confused? A public meeting on diverging diamond interchanges and the Exit 140 project will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Dec. 2 at Colonial Forge High School.

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