The Florida Department of Transportation has completed the new diverging diamond interchange on I-4 at County Road 532 near ChampionsGate in Osceola County, and marked with a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by officials and FDOT staff on Monday, Feb. 13. The project was the result of close collaboration – Osceola County designed the DDI project, while FDOT carried out the construction.
“This project is making things safer for motorists and pedestrians and it is easing congestion and helping Osceola County far beyond what you can see here today,” Osceola County Commissioner Peggy Choudhry said. “This intersection is really a central access point to I-4 and a hub for many other projects. That’s so important, because you cannot put more traffic into areas without functioning intersections like these.”
The DDI project was designed to improve safety and mobility in the ChampionsGate area by crews widening the eastbound and westbound I-4 entrance and exit ramps to improve capacity and reconfiguring the intersection of ChampionsGate Boulevard and Goodman Road to enhance safety. The project also added bike lanes and sidewalks along C.R. 532 to improve safety and connectivity for bicyclists and pedestrians, who now have dedicated routes through the interchange for the first time.
Today, Florida Department of Transportation will open its new I-4 and County Road 532 diverging diamond interchange traffic pattern near ChampionsGate, Sunday, as part of its I-4 Beyond the Ultimate project.
“As we celebrate today the completion of this interchange, we’re excited with what’s been accomplished, but we’re also looking forward to the next improvements we can bring with the help of our great local partners in Osceola County,” FDOT District Five Secretary John E. Tyler, P.E., said.
The addition of auxiliary lanes and milling and resurfacing projects continue nearby along I-4 and State Road (S.R.) 429.
In the new DDI, motorists approaching the interchange on C.R. 532 switch to the left side of the road at a traffic signal. After passing under the interstate, they return to the right side at another traffic signal.
A DDI improves safety and mobility in several ways. First, it eliminates the need for left turns across oncoming traffic. Compared to a conventional interchange, a DDI has fewer conflict points, or places where vehicles cross paths, reducing the potential for collisions. Furthermore, it reduces the number of traffic signal phases, allowing more cars to travel through the interchange.
“At FDOT, our statewide Target Zero initiative seeks to reduce the number of transportation-related serious injuries and fatalities across Florida on all of our roadways to zero,” FDOT Safety Administrator Loreen Bobo, P.E., said. “We want everybody to get home every single night – they serve that. One way to accomplish that is through design of new construction projects. Diverging diamond interchanges are designed to significantly reduce collisions, and that’s the most important reason to celebrate this new project today.”
More DDIs are coming soon to improve the efficiency of other I-4 interchanges, including the ongoing Daryl Carter Parkway project and the upcoming improvements at Sand Lake Road.