Diverging diamond interchange in Greenwood is only the second in Indiana

The diverging diamond interchange for I-65 at Worthsville Road opened to traffic Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2015. The design crisscrosses the east- and westbound lanes for a short span to allow cars to enter the highway without turning in front of oncoming traffic.
Provided by the Indiana Department of Transportation

Think roundabouts are confusing? Wait until a new diverging diamond interchange on I-65 opens this week in Greenwood.

The new highway overpass at Worthsville Road is the first diverging diamond interchange in Central Indiana and only the second in the state.

Drivers should stay alert as traffic switches sides along the new bridge to allow vehicles to turn directly onto I-65 without having to cross the path of oncoming traffic.

The  $16.1 million diverging diamond interchange might take some getting used to, but Indiana Department of Transportation spokesman Harry Maginity said everyone will be fine as long as they stay in their proper lanes and pay attention.

"There will be plenty of signs and lights directing cars," he said.

Driving lanes get shuffled for a short distance, Maginity said, but "the stoplight at the end of the bridge is where all that gets corrected."

It shouldn't take long for drivers to get the hang of the new design, Maginity said.

While the design is new to local drivers, diverging diamonds have been in use in other states since 2009. One study of the nation's first diverging diamond in Springfield, Mo., found improved traffic flow and a 46 percent percent drop in crashes.

Indiana's first diverging diamond interchange, at Dupont Road and I-69 in Fort Wayne, opened in September 2014.

While the Greenwood diverging diamond interchange won't be open to traffic yet, state transportation officials will join Greenwood Mayor Mark Myers for a ribbon cutting at 2 p.m. Monday.

Worthsville Road, which has been closed for about a year between U.S. 31 to just west of I-65 for a $20 million widening project, also is scheduled to reopen this week, City Engineer Mark Richards said.

Call Star reporter Vic Ryckaert at (317) 444-2701. Follow him on Twitter: @vicryc.