ROUND ROCK, Texas (KXAN) — Round Rock officials celebrated the beginning of construction on the area’s first diverging diamond at Interstate 35 and RM 1423.
The nearly $7 million earmarked for the project will cover the cost of rebuilding the intersection, improve ramps in the area and add sidewalks.
Transportation officials say diverging diamonds are effective at intersections with a lot of left-turning traffic because it allows thru traffic and left turns to move simultaneously and eliminates the need for left turn arrows. Drivers are then able to bypass the intersection without stopping at a signal light.
This diverging diamond is the first of several projects aimed at improving I-35 through Williamson County.
“We’re trying to do everything we can to try to expand University (Boulevard) in conjunction with the changes to the intersection and get traffic moving through this entire corridor a lot better,” said Round Rock Mayor Alan McGraw.
The intersection was chosen because of the high volume of traffic passes through there each day. Texas Department of Transportation officials say that number is almost 40,000 vehicles on a given day.
This is the first diverging diamond in this area. The only other one in Texas is in El Paso.