New Interchange Proposal for Zion Crossroads

A VDOT video simulation.

In 2007, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) identified the need to make improvements at Zion Crossroads, where I-64 interchanges with Route 15 (exit 136). Mainly, the VDOT sought to increase the road’s capacity, especially since traffic volume had been predicted to increase due to the growth of commerce in the area.

After analyzing many potential layouts, the VDOT decided to consider a diverging diamond interchange (DDI). This design is by no means new – the French have been using it since the ‘70s – but it is a new arrival to the United States East Coast. Aside from this newest one, there are only four located in the US in Missouri, Tennessee, and Utah.

The VDOT calculated that this model would improve safety and withstand high volumes of traffic, even up to 2035. According to the Department, there are fewer areas where vehicles could potentially crash and the road can handle twice the amount of left-turn movements that normal roads can.

Should a vehicle collision occur in this interchange, it would require new jury instructions to be drafted. Most often, jury instructions are pulled from the Virginia Model Jury Instructions. It is, however, sometimes necessary to draft them from the Virginia Code or Virginia Case Law. A new instruction might need to be drafted if or when the intersection is built.