Local

Changes in effect: New diverging diamond interchange opens in Orlando

ORLANDO, Fla. — It’s a change that’s been several months in the making, and it’s now arrived.

WATCH CHANNEL 9 EYEWITNESS NEWS

Around 7 in the morning Saturday, the new Diversion Diamond Interchange opened for traffic, a change that will impact thousands of residents and tourists driving and walking around the Sand Lake area, near Doctor Philips.

“This will limit conflict points and takes away the left turns across oncoming traffic,” said Ryan Flipse, the construction manager for the project. “There’s going to be new traffic patterns for motors and pedestrians. We will be crossing traffic from the right to the left side of the road, as it signals our intersections, and then back over at another intersection.”

Read: Orlando homebuilder Park Square Homes cues up new project near The Villages

The almost 220-million-dollar project had been underway since last Spring, and the hope is to ease traffic along the busy routes.

The department of transportation is asking anyone driving along the roadways or even walking on the sidewalks, to pay extra attention to the traffic.

Read: Aldi completes Winn-Dixie deal, announces timeline for conversions and 800-store expansion plans

An Eyewitness News crew drove through the area Saturday as the changes went into effect; with a slow traffic, several cones and new signs, the changes could be overwhelming for drivers at first, especially during rush hour.

“It’s still going to be a crowded place, but it’s going to improve greatly from what I saw, said Tracy Andersen, who’s lived in the area for almost 10 years.

The project is expected to be done by 2027.

Click here to download our free news, weather and smart TV apps. And click here to stream Channel 9 Eyewitness News live.