Michigan’s First Diverging Diamond Interchange Coming to University and I-75

If it’s spring, it must be construction season.

The much used I-75 and University Drive junction in Auburn Hills is undergoing construction to create the state’s first Diverging Diamond Interchange (DDI). Anyone who travels this stretch of road knows how badly it has deteriorated—especially the bridge—thanks to years of heavy use.

Aerial view of the I-75/University Diverging Diamond Interchange Photo credit: AuburnHills.org

Aerial view of the I-75/University Diverging Diamond Interchange
Photo credit: AuburnHills.org

A DDI is “designed to increase capacity, decrease congestion, and minimize new construction costs.” It differs from traditional intersections because it allows for free-flowing left turn movements so that left turning vehicles do no have to cross in front of opposing traffic, therefore resulting in improved intersection capacity and safety. Something that is sorely needed with thousands of commuters traveling daily to the Oakland University campus and Chrysler Corporation’s North American Headquarters.

According to Rochester Hills City Engineer/ Deputy DPS Director Paul Davis, the plan calls for traffic to cross over I-75 on the University bridge and then be routed on the opposite side of the road. Another interesting aspect of the project is how pedestrians will be affected. Using a 10-foot wide pathway that connects the east and west sides, pedestrians will actually cross I-75 in the middle of the bridge and directional travel lanes.

During the construction drivers will rely on detours on local roads like Walton, Opdyke, and Squirrel. In an interview with The Oakland Post, Lori Swanson, project manager with the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) and who is overseeing the University Drive project says the goal is to have “everything connected before Christmas of this year.”

OHM Advisors, headquartered in Livonia, MI, was given the go ahead last year to begin the preliminary design for this project, while the actual reconstruction responsibility falls under MDOT jurisdiction.

 

About Sarah Hovis

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Comments

  1. I love DDI interchanges. Instead of the traffic lights, I think it would be a good idea to build two roundabouts to handle the crossover traffic.

    I love roundabouts. They seemed to work very well in some old Peter Sellers movie I watched back in the 1060s

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