A completely new type of road design has ensured better capacity and reduced traffic congestion at an interchange and stretch of motorway south of Denmark's third largest city, Odense. The Danish Road Directorate developed and adapted the design jointly with U.S. road authorities. As a result, motorists can now enter the motorway safer and quicker than before.
The increasing number of motorists in recent years is causing greater congestion and traffic jams on certain parts of the motorway, making exiting and entering the motorway risky and time-consuming. One example is interchange 52 in Odense, where tailbacks have been a problem and the source of dangerous situations, prompting the Danish Road Directorate to think innovatively and search for inspiration abroad.
Jointly with the U.S. Department of Transportation in the state of Missouri, the Danish Road Directorate developed and adapted a new road design called a diverging diamond interchange, which has been successfully used for many years for motorway ramps in the United States. This type of interchange allows traffic to change lanes above the motorway, with a brief drive on the opposite side of the road from what is customary. This allows motorists exiting and entering the motorway to turn left without having to wait for a gap in the oncoming traffic. The first of its kind in Denmark the interchange not only saves time but provides greater road safety and better future proofing of capacity.
The diverging diamond interchange in Odense has made a significant impact since opening in September 2017. What is more, the solution is cheaper than traditional methods requiring expensive new structures above the motorway. Motorists have learned to adapt to the new way of driving on the opposite side of the road without resulting in road safety issues.