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Gwinnett’s diverging diamond interchange brings accolades

Staff Photo: Jason Braverman The Pleasant Hill Road bridge over I-85 opened this summer as a new diverging-diamond interchange. The design and construction have received recent accolades.

Staff Photo: Jason Braverman The Pleasant Hill Road bridge over I-85 opened this summer as a new diverging-diamond interchange. The design and construction have received recent accolades.

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The Pleasant Hill Road bridge over I-85 opened this summer as a new diverging-diamond interchange. The design and construction have received recent accolades.

DULUTH — Gwinnett’s first diverging diamond interchange — the first eight-lane DDI of its kind in the United States — recently received two awards for design and engineering and is in the running for a national honor.

The Georgia Partnership for Transportation Quality named the Pleasant Hill Road interchange at Interstate 85 as its winner in the innovative solutions category in preconstruction design.

The project, which opened this summer in the Gwinnett Place Community Improvement District, was also recognized with the 2014 Georgia Engineering Excellence Award from the American Council of Engineering Companies of Georgia.

Designed by the URS Corporation and constructed by E.R. Snell Contractor, the interchange is one of five state finalists eligible to compete for the American Council for Engineering Companies’ Grand Award, to be awarded in February 2014.

As the first eight-lane Diverging Diamond Interchange (DDI) operational in the United States and the first DDI constructed in Gwinnett County, the new DDI at Pleasant Hill Road over I-85 has received two awards of excellence for design and engineering.

“The Pleasant Hill Road over I-85 DDI has been a signature infrastructure project for the CID and is a symbol of the re-emergence of Gwinnett Place as the community’s central business district,” said Joe Allen, executive director of the CID, which partnered with county and state transportation officials for the project.

“The entire Gwinnett Place business community, the Georgia Department of Transportation and Gwinnett County DOT have worked hard to make this major infrastructure improvement a reality,” Allen said. “We are very pleased with the operational results that have improved traffic flow along Pleasant Hill Road and proud of everyone involved who made this DDI a success.”

While traffic shifted in June to the new design, the project, which includes a streetscape, is expected to be substantially complete by the end of the year.