Ontario's first diverging diamond interchange has opened near Toronto

Sep 26 2022, 9:25 pm

Ontario’s first diverging diamond interchange has partially opened near Toronto.

Located at Glendale Avenue and the Queen Elizabeth Way in Niagara, the diverging diamond interchange (DDI) opened to drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists on September 26.

According to the project website, the DDI will decrease the number of vehicle conflict points, thereby reducing the possibility of collisions, and improve the flow of traffic by limiting the number of movements motorists need to make on the interchange.

To achieve this, the traffic lanes have been reconfigured to allow for direct access to all four directional highway ramps — two on-ramps and two off-ramps.

“This interchange will help fight gridlock and make travel safer for drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists,” the Ministry of Transportation told Daily Hive.

While the majority of the DDI has opened to traffic, the on and off ramps on the westerly side of the structure will not open until later this year.

The QEW will close at 7:30 pm tonight to allow for the demolition of the existing Glendale Bridge. The roadway will reopen on the morning of September 27.

Unlike a regular interchange, a DDI uses traffic lights, overhead signs, and road markings to direct the flow of traffic based on direction – left-hand traffic is conveyed to the left-hand side of the interchange, allowing cars to turn onto the highway without waiting for a traffic light or having to make a left-hand turn.

Rather than having pedestrians and cyclists move along the outskirts of the interchange, a dedicated path runs along the centre of the structure between the northbound and southbound Glendale Avenue lanes. The path includes designated signal-based crossings.

While this is Ontario’s first DDI, there are more than 90 in operation across the United States, and two others in Canada.

Prior to the DDI’s opening, a video was released showing how to navigate the interchange.

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