Construction Begins on Diverging Diamond in Cobb County

- Construction on the area's next Diverging Diamond Interchange is officially underway. Last week, crews began clearing trees at the Windy Hill Road overpass, at I-75 in Cobb County.

They've been successful in DeKalb and Gwinnett Counties, now Cobb County is building its first Diverging Diamond Interchange. The goal is to make your ride faster and safer.

It’s one of many busy corridors in Cobb County, and it's about to get a $20-million dollar facelift.

"It is the mecca of impassibleness. You can't get anywhere, you can't get out of anywhere," Alexandria Harris says.

The Windy Hill Road overpass, at I-75 carries more than 50,000 drivers each day. "I work up the street, I live realistically two minutes, but it takes me 15 to 20 minutes every single morning," Harris adds.

Not only is it congested, but it's also a dangerous area. A 2010 report shows Windy Hill Road, near I-75 had a crash rate three times the state number. By eliminating left turns, the new Diverging Diamond design is expected to make things safer.

"You actually move traffic to the other side of the road that people are used to driving on, that eliminates that left turn in front of opposing traffic," explains Jim Wilgus, the Interim Director of The Cobb County DOT.

While it may take some getting used to, the intersections have already proven to be helpful in other parts of metro Atlanta in the last five years. "It's kind of like traffic circles, when people aren't used to those, but when you get used to them they're really nice not having to always come to a complete stop and be able to flow a lot better," Alan Womack says.

"It's really an important both safety and efficiency improvement ," Wilgus states.

The diamond is expected to open in March of 2017, just in time for opening day in the nearby new stadium. "Then they're going to squeeze it in before April baseball," adds Womack.

The Diverging Diamond is just one of five road projects along Windy Hill Road, between Powers Ferry Road and Cobb Parkway. The improvements total $48-million and are paid for with local, state and county funds.

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