The bridge that carries Jones Sausage Road over Interstate 40 will be closed this weekend. And when it reopens Monday morning, the region will have a second diverging diamond interchange.
A diverging diamond involves crisscrossing traffic at either end of the interchange in a way that eliminates left turns across traffic and the amount of time drivers spend sitting at red lights. Engineers say the design is both safer and more efficient at moving traffic.
The first interchange of this type in the Triangle opened at Western Boulevard and Interstate 440, the Raleigh Beltline, in November 2021.
Two others are under construction, at I-40 and N.C. 42 in Johnston County and on I-40 at Airport Boulevard near Raleigh-Durham International Airport. A fifth is planned at the I-440 Beltline interchange with Wake Forest Road, and two more are included in NCDOT’s plans to turn Capital Boulevard into a freeway between Raleigh and Wake Forest.
The Jones Sausage interchange is part of a larger effort to widen I-40 from Raleigh south into Johnston County, which got underway in 2018. Initially, NCDOT anticipated the interchange would remain essentially as it is was.
But when Amazon announced that it would build a distribution center on the Garner side of the interchange, NCDOT decided to go with the diverging diamond to better handle the thousands of employees and hundreds of trucks coming and going each day.
Unlike other diverging diamonds in the works, NCDOT was able to create this one using the existing bridge over I-40.
The bridge is scheduled to close at 9 p.m. Friday and remain that way until 5 a.m. Monday. For people wanting to stay on Jones Sausage, detours will direct them onto I-40 to the next exit where they can turn around and get off on the far side of the bridge.