COLUMBUS, Ohio – The first Diverging Diamond Interchange (DDI) in the state of Ohio opened on October 21, 2013 in Columbus. Designed by Burgess & Niple (B&N) for the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT), this innovative and cost effective roadway solution is designed to improve safety, reduce crashes and ease congestion. It is only the 23rd DDI in the United States and the first to include dedicated bike lanes.
Located at I-270 and Roberts Road, B&N designed the DDI to improve a problematic interchange that was plagued with design deficiencies and a high frequency of congestion-related crashes. The former diamond interchange couldn’t handle the high volume of traffic that travels through it – including a large amount of truck traffic that drives area commerce. Based on traffic modeling and analysis, B&N determined that a DDI could safely move the highest volume of traffic and be built for the lowest cost compared to other options.
During comments at the DDI ribbon cutting ceremony, ODOT District 6 Deputy Director Ferzan Ahmed stated, “This is not only an innovative solution in terms of engineering, but it’s also an innovative solution in terms of traffic management.” Ahmed noted that the more efficient interchange design is good for commuters, commerce and local businesses. “Traffic is going to move so much better with this Diverging Diamond Interchange in place.”
Operational changes, such as eliminating left turns that cross opposing traffic, make the DDI safer and more efficient than traditional diamond interchanges. Construction costs were lower because fewer lanes are required to handle the same capacity. The DDI also was the only design option that preserved two existing bridges over I-270 and could be built within the existing right-of-way, which significantly lowered the construction cost.
The DDI includes unique design features, such as dual left turn movements for large trucks, and it is the first DDI in the country with dedicated bike lanes.
B&N’s innovative geometric roadway design provided a safer, more efficient transportation solution that demonstrates careful stewardship of taxpayer funding. The DDI was built within the project budget and completed slightly ahead of schedule in October 2013.