First-ever ‘diverging diamond’ traffic pattern in South Carolina to debut on I-77 in York County

The Gold Hill Road bridge over I-77 will be unlike any in the state of South Carolina.
Published: Sep. 8, 2021 at 8:47 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

YORK COUNTY, S.C. (WBTV) - The first-ever diverging diamond traffic pattern in South Carolina is set to be unveiled in York County on Monday morning.

The Gold Hill Road bridge over I-77 will be unlike any in the state of South Carolina when York County unveils the first ‘diverging diamond’ overpass, allowing for faster traffic flow, and reduced backups.

Officials say about 25,000 vehicles per day cross the bridge. Of the three plans for improvements that were considered, the diverging diamond showed the biggest improvement in traffic flow, said York County Assistant County Engineer Patrick Hamilton.

A Diverging Diamond Interchange is a diamond-shaped interchange that allows vehicles in two lanes to temporarily cross to the left side of the road, travel the bridge, then cross back to the right side.

Officials say this makes traffic move easily through an intersection without increasing the number of lanes and traffic signals. It’s designed for high-volume traffic areas.

Construction on the project began in Summer 2019, at a cost of $14.5 million.

York County’s Pennies for Progress program is paying $12 million of that cost, with the remaining $2.5 million funded by grants. Boggs Construction was the lead contractor on the project.

The bridge will close Friday, Sept. 10 at midnight, but there will still be access to the interstate in both directions using the ramps.

The new bridge is expected to open at 5 a.m. Monday morning. Construction will continue after the bridge is open, and is expected to be completed by late October.

Below is a three-minute video detailing how a diverging diamond works for traffic coming from all directions.

Copyright 2021 WBTV. All rights reserved.