TEST DRIVE GA’S FIRST DIVERGING DIAMOND INTERCHANGE
May 19, 2012
Georgia’s first Diverging Diamond Interchange will open June 4, weather permitting, at I-285 and Ashford Dunwoody Road and the Perimeter Community Improvement Districts want to be sure motorists are prepared to drive on the wrong side of the road.
The PCIDs are offering the public a test drive Saturday, May 19 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Perimeter Mall parking lot at the corner of Ashford Dunwoody Road and Perimeter Center West.
“In a DDI, the flow of traffic is shifted to the opposite side of the road to reduce points of traffic conflict,” said PCIDs President and CEO Yvonne Williams. “We have created the slogan ‘Arrive, Crossover, Drive’ for the movements that will be required to drive through the interchange. This is a low cost, cutting edge design for improving traffic flow and safety.”
Golf carts will be used Saturday on a simulated track to provide a “windshield level” experience of the new DDI interchange. A current driver’s license is required to participate in the test drive. “Can You DDI?” tee-shirts will be provided to the first 100 participants and there will be refreshments and music.
The DDI design was originally used in France and spread to the U.S. in 2009 when the first such interchange was built in Springfield, Mo. The PCIDs initiated the Dunwoody project when they hired Moreland Altobelli Associates to find an interim solution for the busy I-285 and Ashford Dunwoody Interchange – a gateway to Central Perimeter, Metro Atlanta’s dominant office market and one of the region’s largest employment centers.
The PCIDs then received funding from DeKalb County and the State Road and Tollway Authority for engineering and project design. The Georgia Department of Transportation is funding the $4.6 million construction cost.
“We’re expecting that under normal, free-flowing traffic conditions on surrounding highways, the I-285 and Ashford Dunwoody DDI will reduce traffic delays in evening rush hours up to 20 percent,” Williams said. “There are significant safety improvements also with DDIs,” Williams noted.
To view a simulation of the I-285 and Ashford Dunwoody Interchange DDI, visit www.perimetercid.org