HANOVER, Md. (WJZ)– Drivers near Arundel Mills may notice something different. A major interchange gets a makeover, and it’s something Maryland drivers haven’t seen before.
Adam May has more.
The new Maryland Live! Casino attracts thousands of people every day.
“It feels like Las Vegas,” one casino patron said.
…But much closer to home.
“It’s right off the Beltway. You’re here in 15 minutes,” said another visitor.
Now to ease increased traffic around Arundel Mills, the intersection of I-295 and Arundel Mills Boulevard gets a makeover– the state’s first diverging diamond interchange, also called a DDI.
“The DDI was designed and built to accommodate all the traffic from Maryland Live! Casino and area development, replacing roundabouts which wouldn’t be able to handle current and future traffic demands,” Valerie Burnette Edgar of the State Highway Administration (SHA) said.
Sky Eye Chopper 13 has a look at the new design: Traffic heading to the casino from Baltimore stays left, reducing backups that could slowdown the Baltimore-Washingon Parkway.
“This allows a lot more traffic to get through,” Burnette Edgar said.
Casino developers spent $5 million on the improvement, projecting a major increase in traffic before the opening.
“Fourteen million people a year come to Arundel Mills. And we’ll have an addition of seven to eight million people a year, 20,000 a day,” Joe Weinberg, managing partner of The Cordish Companies that own the casino, said.
Only a handful of diverging diamonds are in use around the country. More could be built in Maryland.
“The diverging diamond will be considered for other intersections,” Burnette Edgar said. “We’ll see how this works. It’s working really well thus far.”
For an interactive map of the diverging diamond, click here.