Drivers react to Mississippi's first Diverging Diamond Interchan - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Drivers react to Mississippi's first Diverging Diamond Interchange

The barricades are down and traffic is flowing. The brand new Diverging Diamond Interchange (DDI) in D'Iberville is finally open. (Photo source: WLOX) The barricades are down and traffic is flowing. The brand new Diverging Diamond Interchange (DDI) in D'Iberville is finally open. (Photo source: WLOX)
City and state officials were beaming with pride Tuesday as the brand new bridge was officially opened.  (Photo source: WLOX) City and state officials were beaming with pride Tuesday as the brand new bridge was officially opened. (Photo source: WLOX)
According to MDOT, opening the interchange means that the entire project in that area is about 85 percent complete.  (Photo source: WLOX) According to MDOT, opening the interchange means that the entire project in that area is about 85 percent complete. (Photo source: WLOX)
The next step is finishing up Lamey Bridge Road, and then the Big Ridge Road bridge. (Photo source: WLOX) The next step is finishing up Lamey Bridge Road, and then the Big Ridge Road bridge. (Photo source: WLOX)
D'IBERVILLE, MS (WLOX) -

The barricades are down and traffic is flowing. The brand new Diverging Diamond Interchange (DDI) in D'Iberville is finally open.

City and state officials were beaming with pride Tuesday as the brand new bridge was officially opened. But before cars could pass over it, the official ribbon was cut, marking the first ever DDI open in the state.

"You know, when you see a project like this come about, many of you have heard me say many times that transportation equals economic development. And this is all about economic development of D'Iberville and the Coast," said Transportation Commissioner Tom King, during the ribbon cutting ceremony.

That's exactly what Project Engineer Mike Harter said the interchange was geared towards. Change and growth, which is something the city of D'Iberville has seen plenty of in recent years.

"This will only help it. It's going to continue to grow. And we got these infrastructure improvements in place before traffic becomes an issue, so we'll be ready for it when it gets here," said Harter.

Once the barricades were removed, the first brave drivers ventured onto the unconventional intersection. For some, the first trip over wasn't very comforting.

"It's crazy. I don't like driving on the wrong side of the road," said Chad Goff.

But people still wanted to give it a try.

"Well, I want to see how this goes. Trying to figure this out, so it will be interesting," said one driver before driving onto the bridge.

Others saw it as a game changer.

"This is awesome. I love it," said Sam Matranga.

He and Mark Lafontaine own GC Vapors near the south end of the bridge.

"We have a store over here and we've been dying for this to open," said Lafontaine.

Vivian Austin drove out of her way just to be one of the first to try it.

"I thought it was different. I was fascinated that you actually cross the road and go into another lane," said Austin.

And then there were those who were downright excited to see an old route reopen.

"We love it. I live at the end of it, it's so awesome to finally have it back," one driver said.

According to MDOT, opening the interchange means that the entire project in that area is about 85 percent complete. The next step is finishing up Lamey Bridge Road, and then the Big Ridge Road bridge.

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