Final prep work requires weekend closure of N.C. 133 starting April 1
Wilmington - To prepare for the opening of a Diverging Diamond Interchange (DDI) on N.C. 133, the N.C. Department of Transportation will close N.C. 133/Village Road/River Road between the interchange ramps for U.S. 17/74/76 near Belville/Leland at 9:00 p.m., Friday, April 1, weather permitting. The DDI will open for traffic at 6 a.m. on April 4.
"On Monday, drivers using N.C. 133 in Brunswick County will see a new and safer traffic pattern," said Assistant Resident Engineer Wanda James. "They will need to get used to the change, so we ask that everyone stay alert and be aware of the new signs and signals that will be in place to help guide them through the new traffic pattern."
The weekend closure is necessary for crews to complete paving and lane striping for the DDI. Motorists on N.C. 133/River Road south of the interchange heading toward Village Road in Leland or onto U.S. 74 West will be directed onto U.S. 74 East toward Wilmington to follow their detour. Drivers using Village Road in Leland to access N.C.133,south of the interchange or U.S. 74/76 East toward Wilmington should take the ramp onto U.S. 74/76 West toward Whiteville/Myrtle Beach and follow those detour signs.
Drivers are advised to use caution and stay alert while traveling in the area, and to expect possible delays.
The NCDOT is increasing its use of DDIs because they reduce congestion by allowing traffic to keep moving through the intersection. They also improve safety by allowing free flowing turns when entering and exiting the highway, eliminate the need to turn left against oncoming traffic, and limit the number of traffic signal cycles that vehicles have to go through.
The design has two directions of traffic to temporarily cross to the left side of a road, while moving high volumes of traffic through an intersection without increasing the number of lanes and traffic signals. This movement provides easier access to an interstate. It also means traffic entering or exiting an interstate does not have to cross opposing traffic to make a left turn.
Other locations where a DDI is already in use, under construction or planned include Raleigh, Lumberton, Greensboro, Winston-Salem, Concord, Charlotte, Statesville and Asheville along busy highways including I-40, I-95, I-85, I-77, I-73, I-440 and I-26.
The opening of this DDI is part of the Causeway Bridge Project which began January 27, 2014 and is scheduled to be completed by November 15, 2016.
For real-time travel information at any time, visit the Traveler Services section of the NCDOT website or follow NCDOT on Twitter.