VIERA, Fla. – The Viera Boulevard "diverging diamond" interchange at Interstate 95 will open Monday, pending final inspections and potential rain delays.
Construction kicked off in the fall of 2017 on the $17 million interchange. Engineers expect the unusual diverging diamond — the fourth in Florida — to relieve traffic congestion between the Interstate 95 exits at Fiske Boulevard in Rockledge and Wickham Road in Viera.
"This sets up the future development areas in Viera at the interchange to be nimble in responding to new commercial and corporate office opportunities at what serves as an unparalleled site in terms of accessibility and visibility in central Brevard County,” said Todd Pokrywa, president of The Viera Co.
Florida Department of Transportation officials introduced the overpass' crisscross traffic pattern during a February "soft opening." Viera Boulevard motorists shift to the left side of the bridge at a traffic light, then return to the right side at a second traffic light.
When the I-95 ramps open, drivers will merge onto the highway without making left turns facing oncoming traffic.
"The project team is targeting to have it open before the Fourth of July holiday," FDOT spokeswoman Jessica Ottaviano said.
Wednesday afternoon, workers placed sod along the sidewalk on the southwest side of the future interchange. Dark tarps shroud road signs and ramp traffic lights, awaiting the opening date.
In tandem, The Viera Co. has accelerated the widening of Viera Boulevard from U.S. 1 to the Indian River Colony Club-Herons Landing subdivision entrances. This new 40 mph roadway stretch features a new traffic signal at Holiday Springs Road, next to Satcom Direct headquarters.
“The Viera Boulevard widening from Herons Landing eastward toward U.S. 1 is now open to public traffic. This improvement from two to four lanes along this section was fully funded by The Viera Co. at a cost of over $2 million," Pokrywa said.
Crews will wrap up minor punch list items along Viera Boulevard over the next couple of months, Pokrywa said.
The Viera Boulevard overpass spanning I-95 opened to traffic in 2007, linking West Viera with U.S. 1. FDOT is converting this $15 million span into a diverging diamond interchange.
Florida's first diverging diamond interchange opened in May 2017 in Sarasota at Interstate 75 and University Parkway. Two more have opened in Miami along the Dolphin Expressway, at Northwest 27th Avenue and Northwest 57th Avenue.