WASHINGTON, Pa. (KDKA) — Pennsylvania’s Secretary of Transportation Leslie Richards visited Pittsburgh Thursday to tout the state’s first Diverging Diamond Interchange.

PennDOT likes to call it a DDI.

The DDI at the Murtland interchange with I-70 is already under construction and the $50 million project includes widening the mainline of the interstate to three lanes in each direction from Beau Street west to the west junction of Interstates 70 and 79.

That work will result in a shift in traffic to 45 miles per hour cattle chutes on April 4. It will no doubt slow down the traffic, but will only last for a mile.

The DDI is going to be very interesting for drivers as it crosses traffic to the opposite side of the road through the interchange, allowing all entrances and exits to be from or onto ramps.

It completely eliminates left turns and the T-bone crashes that come with them.

Secretary Richards says, “Diverging Diamond Intersections have shown a 60 percent reduction in accidents, and that’s what we expect to see here. And the severity of the accidents is also reduced.”

Learn more about the Diverging Diamond Interchange here:

The idea of driving on the “wrong” side of the road takes some getting used to, but once you’ve done it, you’ll wonder why all interchanges aren’t DDI.

PennDOT is looking to use them elsewhere in the state as they rework interchanges.

Statewide 70 MPH
On the topic of statewide 70 miles per hour speed limits, the secretary says the I’s are being dotted and the T’s crossed.

Secretary Richards tells KDKA the new 70 mph signs should be up for the vacation season.

“They will be, yes. That is the plan. Probably in the May timeframe; we’ll be having the full announcement and the signs will be seen soon after that date,” she said.

Easter Enforcement
No real surprise here state police are stepping up speed and aggressive driver enforcement for the Easter holiday weekend starting tonight.

The Washington barracks alone has issued 300 citations in March on Interstate 70, many of them in the numerous construction zones. The PSP in that area is teaming with PennDOT to create new locations for troopers to sit out of sight for the purpose of speed enforcement.

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