The busy Sand Lake Road (State Road 482) interchange will get a major makeover to increase traffic flow and roadway safety as part of the I-4 Beyond the Ultimate project. Construction is scheduled to start in this segment in 2020.
Currently, about 70,000 vehicles a day travel through or very near the interchange. In order to deal with current traffic and accommodate future needs, the interchange will be reconfigured in a more efficient arrangement known as a modified diverging diamond. In conjunction with that change, Turkey Lake Road also will be improved.
The new design increases safety and the free flow of traffic by eliminating left turns in front of oncoming traffic. That results in the elimination of two phases from the traffic signals. And that means more green-light time and less congestion for the remaining phases.
The diverging diamond interchange is becoming more common because its design eliminates several traffic conflict points. It does so by moving drivers to the side of the road where they can turn left without having to cross in front of oncoming traffic.
Although a map of the diverging diamond route may look a little unusual at first, motorists find the experience of driving through the diverging diamond to be easy and convenient. The Sand Lake Road interchange is known as a modified diverging diamond because it also includes an access ramp from Sand Lake Road to Turkey Lake Road.
Motorists traveling eastbound on Sand Lake Road will no longer be able to turn left onto Turkey Lake Road. Instead, they can take an access ramp. It will loop around, pass over Sand Lake Road and lead to a spot south of the Phillips Crossing Shopping Center. At the end of the access ramp, drivers can continue north or south on Turkey Lake Road.
To accommodate the changes, a third lane will be added to northbound Turkey Lake Road between the access ramp and Sand Lake Road.