NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A new intersection designed to ease congestion on Military Highway in Norfolk is now open to traffic.
The Virginia Department of Transportation on Monday opened the continuous flow intersection near Northampton Boulevard and Princess Anne Road. The left turn lanes already opened over the weekend.
Construction on the multimillion-dollar, one-of-a-kind intersection started in 2016.
The lanes work like this: If you’re on Military Highway wanting to turn left onto Princess Anne Road or Northampton Boulevard, you will cross over into a dedicated left turn lane before the main intersection.
From there, you’ll proceed through the main intersection at the same time the cars turning right are going straight through the intersection. VDOT posted a video simulation on YouTube last month of a bird’s eye view that helps demonstrate how the traffic flow works.
On the ground, drivers will see four lanes of traffic alternating in different directions.
“It is a little confusing, especially with my GPS,” said driver William Taylor. “It’ll say i’m going down the wrong road. I’m like, ‘Oh man, I’m gonna crash into somebody.”
VDOT spokesperson Brittany McBride said, “With any new intersection and new configuration, there may be some getting used to. But we think, overall it may look complicated, but once you’re in it following the signage, it will be rather intuitive.”
Signs are up to direct drivers on where to go — and not go — and some finishing touches are needed like paving medians and adding traffic lines, which has been delayed due to weather.
As for the new configuration, VDOT wants drivers to be alert and see the big picture.
“So by activating this new intersection configuration, we’re hoping to improve safety, we’re going to reduce congestion, which will improve commute times,” McBride said.