GEORGETOWN, Texas (KXAN) — A busy Williamson County intersection will soon see some changes that could help fix the gridlock. Construction is underway at Interstate 35 and Williams Drive to construct a diverging diamond intersection.
“A DDI actually provides an opportunity to move that left-turning traffic in a safer and more efficient way,” said Diann Hodges, a Texas Department of Transportation spokesperson.
TxDOT officials added that by moving traffic that wants to turn left to the left side of the road they’re able to get rid of the left-turn arrows. This, transportation officials said, improves safety.
“A diverging diamond intersection places traffic on the left side of the road before they would ever cross in front of traffic which actually eliminates the head-on collision and T-bones crashes,” Hodges said.
The latest numbers from TxDOT show more than 32,000 drivers made their way through the I-35 and Williams Drive intersection each day last year. That’s up more than 4,000 drivers from 2017.
“Williamson County, Georgetown area, they’re exploding with growth,” she said.
The project will also construct north and southbound intersection bypass lanes under the Williams Drive bridge to allow drivers who need to travel through the intersection get through and avoid the DDI. TxDOT also plans to extend the frontage road.
“If you drive in Georgetown. you’ll notice that we don’t have a frontage road past Williams Drive, so we are actually going to be adding a northbound frontage Road between Williams Drive and Lakeway Drive,” Hodges explained.
TxDOT said the project will improve the Austin Avenue intersection at Williams Drive as well and feature bicycle and pedestrian paths. CAMPO and TxDOT funded the $61.7 million project.
The first DDI opened about four years ago in Round Rock at Farm to Market Road 1431 and I-35. TxDOT has also worked on adding DDI’s in other parts of Central Texas. Including at Parmer Lane and I-35, Slaughter and MoPac Expressway, and Ranch to Market Road 2222 at Loop 360.
Watch the virtual groundbreaking: