you're reading...

Cornelius News

Diverging diamond: It really is more ridiculous than ever

June 9. By Dave Vieser. The infamous Diverging Diamond of Exit 28 Ridiculousness fame is on the Town Board’s radar, not to mention town staff.

“We gotta get this fixed immediately,” Commissioner Denis Bilodeau said to Deputy Public Works Director Tyler Beardsley at the Town Board’s June 7 meeting.


The problems:

—A walk button at Torrence Chapel Road malfunctioned, creating longer cycles for the signal.

—Communication issues between the signal at Torrence Chapel and One Norman.

—The corridor is exceeding capacity

—Motorists are blocking traffic on the bridge, creating further congestion.

Fixes this week?

Beardsley said the electronic communications issues are being worked on this week. Meanwhile, the  NCDOT has a corridor study due to be completed within a week.

The NCDOT has ordered new signs for DDIs warning motorists to not block intersections.

Kansas-based Rhythm Engineering was once hailed as the solution to the DDI’s problems.

Safety benefits negated


Commissioner Michael Miltich said that the benefits of the DDI design become overshadowed when gridlock results in no flow at all.

No time to wait

“This is not something that we can wait weeks for. We need to speak about days, not weeks. If Rhythm cannot get this fixed, I hope you guys have a Plan B which can be implemented.”

—Denis Bilodeau, commissioner


11 Responses to “Diverging diamond: It really is more ridiculous than ever”

  1. The solution is simple Mr. Bilodeau. Do away with the crisscross bridge. Clearly its a problem!. Make the highway exits a cloverleaf exchange and that way eliminate the lights and eliminates crossing over Catawba ave as well.
    If the Bridge was switched to normal east, west, flow that could open a potential third lane for the west bound traffic and or for a west bound exit loop from north bound 77. That would also eliminate the need for the traffic signal, do the clover leaf and eliminate both lights. Why is this option not discussed? These proposed traffic circles on 21 are not going to help, it only causes more traffic to cross over Catawba at 21. Its very frustrating to me that these options have been over looked. The place for a traffic circle is at Torrance Chapple and Catawba.

    Posted by Rick | June 9, 2021, 3:54 pm
    • 1. Fix the cause of the malfunction immediately. This can’t be what has created traffic issues East to West for MONTHS to a year now??? Rhythm is not responding in a timely manner?That is why we have lawyers. Is Rhythm saying we are
      wasting money to correct this malfunction? Why was this
      not discerned from the beginning?

      2. Now, research more thoroughly this last suggestion from Rhythm.

      Catawba Avenue CANNOT continue with the mess we are in.
      Freeze any action that will create more cars traveling daily.
      No one wants to get on Catawba from 11:00-3:00 (?). It has to be hurting all the businesses along the way. (Does not take a rocket scientist to have recognized something happened.)
      That many new residents moved to this area in the last
      year to create this crisis?!

      Posted by Elaine Russell | June 9, 2021, 10:35 pm
    • Unfortunately there isn’t room for a cloverleaf. The ultimate fix is an exit at Westmoreland. In the mean time no large scale residential projects should be approved for at least 5 years.

      Posted by Dan Wold | June 10, 2021, 8:13 am
    • Commissioner Bilodeau says it is not that simple. His comments:

      “I appreciate your comments regarding traffic flow as we all would like to see significant improvement asap. I respectfully disagree however with your assumption that a solution is “simple”. Doing away with the DDI and acquiring the needed right of way for a cloverleaf exchange is not practical or affordable. The Diverging Diamond concept has been used successfully in other areas of the state. A DDI bridge improves traffic flow as well as safety. The DDI did both at Exit 28 until recent issues with the timing of the traffic lights. Traffic circles on 21 were recommended by road engineers because there is limited right of way available at either side of the 28 bridge. I can assure you that several configurations were explored before NCDOT and the Town landed on the current model.”

      Posted by Newsroom | June 11, 2021, 4:14 pm
      • Right now, traffic exiting from 77 North gets a green light to turn left onto Catawba Avenue going west, even if cars are backed up on the bridge. They think they have the right of way when the light is green, and try to merge. This is an accident waiting to happen. A sign reading “Yield to existing crossing traffic on green” would clarify who has the right of way. It could be handled immediately with a Yield sign and a Crossing Traffic Does Not Stop yellow sign underneath the Yield. Both of these are readily available.

        Posted by Norm P | June 16, 2021, 8:03 am
  2. I come from a state of gridlock. I have never seen worse traffic design in my 74 years. Food for thought….I have always felt that the people who come up with these ridiculously designed roads had to travel that road everyday for a month, sit there waiting tiredly, for absolutely nothing but poor planning, a solution would be solved ASAP! As long as they don’t suffer the frustration the way we do, who really cares? Get your ars out of your cushy chair in Raleigh, sit in your gas guzzler and wait like us common folk! Enjoy the whatever you designed you earned the privilege

    Posted by Cindy Herold | June 9, 2021, 6:04 pm
  3. “The corridor is exceeding capacity.” No amount of tweaking signals, buttons, signage warning motorists not to block traffic flow, will fix this. I’ve always believed there are no new problems, this situation is repeated somewhere else, and someone(s) found a solution. Find it, build it, no more excuses.

    Posted by Joe | June 10, 2021, 6:47 am
  4. There is room for clover leaf. If they use the current exit ramps as exit build new entrance ramps outside of the current ramps. I’m not saying that it is simple but I think it a better long-term solution. Making traffic circles on 21 and Liverpool is not the answer

    Posted by Rick | June 10, 2021, 10:21 am
  5. One only has to look at a real diverging diamond at Brawley School Road for some relief and a halt to additional building until improvements to our road system are made.

    Posted by Pat Harkins | June 10, 2021, 12:01 pm
  6. Don’t let new developments build and increase traffic said the person who moved here last year into a new development.

    Posted by Wrren Liebman | June 11, 2021, 11:05 am
  7. Freeze all current and future developments and see how fast pressure applied to the General Assembly and NCDOT happens. That is the only way we will get the money and attention required. NCDOT is pathetic.

    Posted by Gary Taylor | June 12, 2021, 9:08 am

Post a Comment