Diverging Diamond Intersection opens Tuesday afternoon

The intersection, first of its kind in Texas, open to commuters at 3 p.m.

EL PASO, Texas - UPDATE: Diverging Diamond Intersection (DDI) opens Tuesday afternoon at 3pm.

PREVIOUS STORY: After months of construction, ABC-7 is getting a better idea of what the intersection of Loop 375 and Spur 601 in Northeast El Paso will look like once it reopens to traffic.

El Paso drivers are the first in Texas to experience the "Diverging Diamond Intersection."

An animation of the new intersection was posted by the Texas Department of Transportation on YouTube. Drivers may want to watch it a few times, because it will be a reality for drivers come next week.

"There are no Divergent Diamond Intersections in Texas, so people are going to have to learn to drive on them," said TxDOT District Engineer Bob Bielek as he stood at a podium before a group of media members watching the animation during a news conference at TxDOT's headquarters in Far East El Paso Tuesday afternoon.

Crews are putting the finishing touches on the construction this week, hoping to paint the lines before Friday morning's "practice drive" with TxDOT staff and the media.

Bielek said the idea of the DDI originated in France 40 years ago and is new to the United States -- with fewer than a dozen of them in various other cities.

"The main difference is instead of crossing opposing traffic and making a hard left turn, you'll make a shallower 90 degree left turn," Bielek said.

"You'll end up on the opposite side of the road. You'll think you're in England for 300 feet."
Bielek said studies show that accidents decrease by 50 percent in DDIs.

"We should be able to increase traffic pretty dramatically as we go through," he added.

Good news for the up to 3,200 drivers who use the intersection every morning.

TxDOT said there will be bike and pedestrian access through the intersection as well.

It is expected to open to the driving public Sept. 2.

Watch a video of the DDI at

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