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2 major Oakland County roads getting diverging diamond intersections at I-75

Posted at 6:50 AM, Nov 17, 2020

(WXYZ) — If you're getting on and off I-75 at Big Beaver and 14 Mile in Troy, you may notice some big changes. Those intersections have been transformed to Diverging Diamond interchanges.

The whole purpose of the I-75 Modernization Project is to make driving safer. Part of that is the interchanges coming at 14 Mile and Big Beaver.

Rob Morosi with the Michigan Department of Transportation said one big risk of busy intersections is drivers taking a left turn in front of oncoming traffic to get on the highway.

“You have traffic backed up, and so then you have people who are making a left turn in front of oncoming traffic, maybe pushing the limits if you will, maybe taking a chance, that is eliminated with this new diverging diamond interchange design," Morosi said.

No more left turns help eliminate crashes, and even get rid of some road rage attributed to the traffic headache.

Instead, traffic is taken to the opposite side of the roadway, and oncoming traffic is stopped while entering and exiting the freeway.

If you want some practice using diverging diamonds, head north to Auburn Hills. There's one at I-75 and University

“That one has worked very very well," Morosi said.

Morosi anticipates there might be a bit of a learning curve from drivers, and maybe even some apprehension. He predicts it will eventually go away when people experience the benefits.

“I can guarantee you that people will follow the pavement markings, follow the signs, and they will understand once they use it just what a benefit it is," he said.

Even though construction is mostly done, installing the traffic signals will take a little bit longer.

The Big Beaver intersection is expected to be fully-operation in mid-December, and 14 Mile should be done sometime in the spring.