'Diverging diamond' intersection opens in St. Cloud

7:55 AM, Oct 18, 2013   |    comments
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Image from St. Cloud Times

ST. CLOUD, Minn. - A new intersection design in St. Cloud is said to be safer and smoother, but it may take drivers some time getting used to it.

"It looks like things are going well," said Rosie Noehring of St. Cloud. "We live in the area and have been watching it transpire."

The new project, which took more than a year to complete, officially opened Thursday. It's called a "diverging diamond interchange" and replaces the old, four-lane intersection at County Road 120 and Highway 15.

"It will be less congested and safer," said MnDOT spokesperson J.P. Gillach. "We're really excited about this."

The "diverging diamond interchange" eliminates left-hand turns across traffic, typically a dangerous maneuver. It also means motorists will briefly go "British" over the bridge.

"For a brief time you're driving on the left side of the bridge, which feels like the wrong way," said Gillach.

Transportation officials say the 10 million dollar project is more cost effective than the traditional cloverleaf interchange.

"We will monitor how this goes," says Gillach. "It's possible that we could see them come to the Twin Cities."

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