Harrison County

How well is D’Iberville’s diverging diamond working?

Driving D’Iberville’s diverging diamond

A Mississippi Department of Transportation engineer gives a tour of the diverging diamond intersection on D'Iberville Boulevard over I-10, set to open on June 2.
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A Mississippi Department of Transportation engineer gives a tour of the diverging diamond intersection on D'Iberville Boulevard over I-10, set to open on June 2.

A Sound Off in Monday’s Sun Herald complained that the diverging diamond intersection in D’Iberville isn’t working well with holiday shopping traffic.

It was one of several similar Sound Offs the Sun Herald has received since the intersection was completed in June 2015.

“That’s the first I heard of it,” said D’Iberville City Manager Clay Jones. He drove the intersection over the weekend and saw lots of shoppers headed to The Promenade, but no delays.

“At this time of year, we’re going to have some traffic,” he said.

Even before the shops and restaurants were built at The Promenade, getting around the shopping areas of D’Iberville was a challenge during the Christmas shopping season. Over the last three years the state and city spent more than $50 million to reconfigure the I-10/110 intersection, build a flyover between the shopping areas, build the diverging diamond over I-10 and widen Sangani Boulevard.

“Now people are using that back entrance more than they were previously,” Jones said.

The easy access to The Promenade from the back exit via the diverging diamond has greatly eased traffic at Mississippi 67/15.

Captain Marty Griffin with D’Iberville police said he knows of no accidents or issues on the diverging diamond. He worked Black Friday and said there were plenty of people out shopping but no backups.

“We haven’t had any issues at all,” he said.

Diverging diamond intersections are common throughout the United States, but the one in D’Iberville is the first in Mississippi. Traffic lights control the movement of vehicles as they cross to the left side of the road through the intersection, which allows traffic heading west onto I-10 to turn without crossing traffic.

“The intersection is actually designed to handle a lot more traffic than there is now,” said Gabriel Faggard, area engineer with the Mississippi Department of Transportation.

The signals were adjusted soon after the intersection opened due to lower-than-expected traffic, and Faggard said MDOT will go out to the intersection and look at the signal timing again.

However, in another week Christmas shopping will be done and traffic will return to normal.

Sound Off on Dec. 19

The diamond intersection over by the mall certainly doesn’t work at all with heavy traffic. There isn’t enough room to get all the waiting cars between the lights on the overpass. It takes multiple cycles to get through. What engineer designed this thing? To paraphrase Red Skelton, MDOT must be really proud of him over at the asylum.

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