COLUMBIA - Monday morning marked the opening of the diverging diamond interchange at Stadium Boulevard's intersection with Interstate 70. It's the first of its kind in mid-Missouri, and a change to eight lanes and six stoplights may cause confusion. Here's three helpful tips to handle the diverging diamond.
1.) Stay within the lane
This one is a simple rule drivers understand, but it will help guide you through the new interchange. Crossing onto the left side of the road after the first stoplight feels unnatural, and may cause you to hesitate. However, the lane lines are clear, and the arrows painted on the road will keep you head in the right direction (and more importantly, away from oncoming traffic).
2. Right on red? Think again.
If you're turning right onto I-70 from Stadium, you'll be met with a stoplight. The rule here, according to MoDOT engineer Charles Sullivan, is to only go on green - not yield during a red light. Drivers from the other side of the diamond will be taking the entrance ramp while this light is red, so only turn right onto I-70 when the light by the ramp is green.
3. Keep your head up.
Another easy rule, but an important one. With traffic moving in many different directions, and the novelty of the traffic system in mid-Missouri, mistakes are bound to happen. Stick to the left and right lanes if you need to use I-70, and take the curves slowly. The lane lines and arrows will help guide you through the diamond. There's not much room between the first set of stoplights and the second, so lane changes will be quick. Watch for other cars, and be sure to signal any switches early.