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$59 million Haymarket diverging diamond intersection safer, adds capacity

HAYMARKET — The orange cones are gone, and a new interchange in Haymarket is officially open.

Northern Virginia’s first Diverging Diamond Interchange, or DDI — where traffic is shifted to the opposite side of the road as vehicles pass through the intersection — carries drivers on Route 15 across Interstate 66.

The $59 million interchange took about two years to build, adds capacity to the road, reduces congestion, and improves safety by eliminating the need to make left turns in front of oncoming traffic.

“More than twice the number of cars can pass through this intersection then could pass through a traditional diamond interchange,” said VDOT District Construction Engineer Bill Cutter, who lauded the project for opening on time and budget.

DDI’s are quickly becoming the standard in interchange design across the Commonwealth with new DDI’s under construction on Courthouse Road in Stafford, as well as Blacksburg. Two other DDI’s in Virginia sit outside Valley View Mall in Roanoke, and at Zion’s Crossroads near Charlottesville.

The Haymarket DDI includes a shared-use path to accommodate bicyclists and pedestrians. The design of the walls are meant to pay homage to the nearby Chapman Mill historic site in nearby Fauquier County, said Cutter.

Haymarket Mayor David Leake said the new interchange would bring more traffic to the town to eat in 12 of the restaurants, and shop in town stores. The new interchange marks a milestone of growth for the small, town, setting it apart from the days when Haymarket was a trading post along the Dumfries and Old Carolina roads.

Prince William County Gainesville District Supervisor Peter Candland said the project had been a long-time coming.

“I think I will see orange [construction] cones in my nightmares for years to come,” he quipped.

Candland urged VDOT use the agency’s “limited resources” for construction projects like these in the county. He also took an opportunity to the podium to voice opposition for a long talked about Bi-County Parkway, which would connect drivers on I-95 to Dulles Airport via Route 234 extended through a portion of the Manassas National Battlefield.

“…citizens of Prince William County do not want the Bi-County Parkway,” he added.

From VDOT: 

This project constructed two longer bridges to carry Route 15 over I-66 with two crossover intersections. It widened the bridges from two lanes to three, and also included:

— Ramp improvements, including a spur ramp to ease traffic flow from westbound I-66 to northbound Route 15 to westbound Heathcote Boulevard.

— Improvements on Route 15 from just north of the railroad tracks to just south of Heathcote Boulevard

— Wider intersections on Route 15 at Heathcote Boulevard and Route 55, adding turn lanes to both.

— A 10-foot-wide shared-use path on the east side of Route 15 for pedestrians and bicyclists.

The $59 million project began in Sept. 2015 and was completed on-time and on-budget, under a design-build contract by Lane Construction Corporation of Chantilly.

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