diverging diamond interchange

Ontario is about to open its very first 'diverging diamond' interchange

If you find traffic roundabouts so confusing that you're willing to drive out of your way to avoid them (hi!), please be advised that a new, potentially even more complicated style of interchange will be opening near Toronto this fall.

It's called a "diverging diamond," which sounds cool, but might prove confusing for drivers in the Niagara Region who stumble upon it, as it will be the first of its kind in Ontario and only the third in Canada.

To that effect, the province's Ministry of Transportation announced this week that it will soon be holding a "public education session" for people to learn about the new interchange, which is located at Glendale Avenue and the QEW.

"The Diverging Diamond Interchange will allow for performance improvement by reducing vehicle conflict points along with allowing unrestricted turning movements," reads the project's website.

"It accomplishes this by reconfiguring the traffic lanes to allow for direct access to all four directional highway ramps."

Officials say that this new interchange will increase efficiency, safety and mobility for pedestrians and cyclists. You can read all the nitty gritty here if you're interested in exactly what's changed at this road juncture, and learn how it'll work by watching this video.

While only two currently exist in Canada, many U.S. cities are starting to experiment with diverging diamonds. You can already find them in Missouri, New Mexico, Delaware, Virginia and even Calgary.

According to Niagara Region's website, this new Glendale-QEW interchange has been in the works since early 2020. Shovels hit the ground in April of 2021 and the intersection is expected to reopen as early as October 2022 (and as late as July 23 of next year).

Not everyone is stoked to be learning of the QEW's soon-to-open diamond roadway, though it is of note that Ontario already has 23 regular roundabouts — and if people can figure those things out, they'll eventually get the hang of this one, too.

Lead photo by

Niagara Economic Development/Utah Department of Transportation

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