New Diverging Diamond Interchange Project – Could it Improve Safety?

Joe: 106.7 WIZ and that’s Kiss, “Detroit Rock City,” heard Aerosmith and “Dream On” before that. I’m Joe Vega here with you in your “Wednesday Rock and Ride Home.” Called my friend Ben Barry from Martin, Harding & Mazzotti to talk about this divergent diamond interchange that’s suppose to happen at Exit 16 off 89 in Colchester. Ben, thanks for coming back on the program.

Ben: Joe, thanks for having me.

Joe: Okay. So, we’re talking today about the new intersection which is gonna happen at Exit 16 on Interstate 89 in Colchester which is, you know, a big deal for me because I actually use this intersection everyday. Our studios are a quarter of a mile from that intersection and they are planning on putting what’s called a divergent diamond interchange in there and there’s some legal trip ups including Act 250, but wanted to talk to you because you know a little bit about the statistics of this, what are some of the reasons for putting one of these divergent diamond interchanges in there?

Ben: So, I’ve actually dealt with a lot of accidents at this intersection as well, doing personal injury, but…

Joe: Oh, right.

Ben: …the diamond should reduce some of the traffic, should reduce some of the high impacts that we see here at this intersection. And look, the state’s done the statistical analysis, there’s a lot of accidents at this intersection and they want to do something to change it. I think it’s a good move. The diamond interchanges have an overall effect of reducing traffic congestion, however, right now, there’s an Act 250 challenge which throws a number permitting questions into the process which the allegation made by, I believe it was Maplefields, is that the interchange is actually gonna cause some phosphorus run off into a tributary [inaudible 00:01:39]. They’re gonna have to deal with that under the purview of the Vermont Supreme Court. I think at the end of the day, the project will go through. I think there’s a lot of benefits to the project. I think the state has to deal with the 250 stuff.

Joe: Right. It’s funny that you mentioned that and I never been taught about that. There are a lot of accidents at that intersection. I see them all the time as a matter of fact. This divergent diamond interchange thing though is weird to me because, you know, I was actually looking at it online and it just seems so counter-intuitive that you gotta cross lanes but as you said, the statistics show that it’s safer.

Ben: It is. I believe that there’s one by-reference in King Valley, New York which again, there’s no traffic pattern that’s full-proof. But they do have the overall effect of generally reducing congested traditional intersections. So yes, it’s confusing. Has it been shown to be effective in other counties? It has. Whether or not it’s effective for this particular intersection and whether or not, you know, the people who are driving it on a daily basis or for those people who happen to just happen upon this diamond interchange will be able to figure it out, that remains to be seen. But hopefully, the statistics will prove to play out in this intersection which is an overall reduction in the traffic, infractions and impacts, car collisions, and also just some easing up of the traffic back ups.

Joe: All right. Ben, thanks for coming on the program. Ben Barry from Martin, Harding & Mazzotti.

Ben: Thank you, Joe.

Joe: You can call Martin, Harding & Mazzotti at anytime at 1-800-LAW-1010 or go online to All right. I’m outta here. Mel Allen taking over. He’s got music from Steve Miller and Blue Oyster Cult next.