Diverging Diamond traffic pattern makes debut

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. Drivers can now try out the Diverging Diamond traffic pattern.

"As long as people follow the signing and the markings on the road, they'll be just fine," said Rob Beck, CDOT regional engineer for Grand Junction.

The interchange guides cars through a unique interchange formation, which moves traffic to the left, so drivers don't have to cross over the street to get onto the interstate.

"Trucks had a difficult time making left turns onto the interstate from Highway 50," Beck said. "So by doing the DDI, they can make that movement without stopping and it is much more efficient and much more safe."

The original opening date back in December was pushed back because winter weather prevented construction crews from completing certain projects.

"The weather was a little too cold and we couldn't do some of the elements safely and do them correctly," Beck said. "So we shut down and now we started back up because the weather has warmed up."

Drivers said the area is congested right now because of the changes, but they're hoping it will be beneficial in the long run.

"I'm constantly on the interstate. Going to fruita and back every day recently has been kind of tough," said Buck Case. "On both sides of the off ramp there, they got it coned off and kind of slowed down. It's pretty hectic right now, but hopefully when it's done it'll be a nice easy drive."

Construction crews will continue working around the intersection on landscaping, sidewalks and retaining walls.

The interchange is expected to be finalized in about a month pending on weather conditions.

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