Duval County

Jacksonville’s first diverging diamond interchange now open

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — On Monday morning, Duval County’s first diverging diamond interchange opened up at J. Turner Butler Boulevard and San Pablo Road.

This new pattern is a major change to how people get around in one of the city’s busiest areas.

It’s part of a $12 million project that kicked off in January 2020.

“I guess it’s supposed to be progress,” local driver Rick Siebold said. “When I got here, you couldn’t even go through to JTB.”

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A major goal is to help ease congestion and improve safety.

The Florida Department of Transportation said the diverging diamond interchange has fewer light cycles and 50% fewer conflict points -- areas like left turns through busy intersections that commonly cause crashes.

It also adds efficiency with only two clearance intervals (the time for traffic signals to change from green to yellow to red) instead of the six or more found in other interchange designs, according to FDOT.

FDOT urges drivers to pay attention to new signage, pavement markings and signals to get used to the new flow of traffic.

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“Be safe,” Siebold said. “Follow the laws. We’ll be okay.”

This comes as March is Bicycle Safety Month. FDOT shares that you should always wear a helmet when cycling and ride in the same direction of traffic on the street.

More information about diverging diamond interchanges can be found here. www.nflroads.com/DDI.