By: Stacey Welsh
EL PASO, Texas -- Texas' first diverging diamond interchange opened Tuesday afternoon at the intersection of Loop 375 and Spur 601.
So far, KFOX14 has not seen drivers having trouble navigating the new intersection.
As KFOX14 reported, this type of intersection is designed for areas like the Loop 375 and Spur 601 intersection near Fort Bliss with heavy left-turn traffic.
The Texas Department of Transportation said the DDI means drivers won't have to wait for as many traffic light changes. TXDOT said the intersection could also prevent T-bone car accidents.
There are about 30 diverging diamond interchanges in the United States, and about half of them are in Missouri.
The Missouri Department of Transportation said this type of intersection has reduced crash rates across the state by about 50 percent since the first DDI was built about five years ago.
"It's a great design concept that every department of transportation should consider in their toolbox. It's going to be new to drivers, and there may initially be some resistance.
They may be confused, but we found that they adapt very quickly," MODOT Assistant State Engineer Nicole Hood said.
Hood also said there are about 10 more DDI projects in the works for Missouri right now.
"We had several folks show up at our initial public meeting with more than 200 people, and now when we have public meetings with regard to the DDIs, we have very low attendance. Everyone just understands them now," Hood said.
The transportation department in Lexington, Kentucky, also said building a diverging diamond interchange has been successful.
Lexington Director of Traffic Engineering Dowell Squire said the city has seen a 45 percent reduction in car accidents since the city's DDI was built in 2012.
TXDOT said there is no posted speed limit at the DDI intersection in El Paso, but drivers will slow down to 45 mph before leaving the highway and then stop at the traffic light.
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