33 Interchange Types Basics


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Freeways and Interchanges CE453 Lecture 33: 

1 Freeways and Interchanges CE453 Lecture 33 Source : A Policy on Geometric Design of Highways and Streets (The Green Book). Washington, DC. American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, 2001 4th Ed.


2 16 lane freeway section (approach to Bay Bridge Toll Plaza, Oakland, CA)


3 Objectives Learn some freeway design standards Identify and compare interchange types, advantages/disadvantages Identify and describe interchange design principles


4 Freeways Fully access controlled arterials Intent: move large volumes of traffic at high speed, safely and efficiently At-grade crossings are prohibited


5 Speed/LOS Speed (urban): >= 50 mph Speed (rural): 70 mph or more How does this compare to actual conditions? Designed for 20-year volumes LOS C: urban LOS B: rural

Cross slope and shoulder: 

6 Cross slope and shoulder Minimum 2 through lanes 1.5 to 2% cross-slope Continuous paved shoulder Right: 10 ft Left: 4 to 8 ft


7 Grades




9 Clearance Vertical clearance: at least 16’ over entire cross-section Consider future resurfacing Horizontal: clear zone consistent with operating speed and side slopes Medians: Rural: 50 to 100 ft Urban For 4 lane use 10’ (2x4’ shoulder + barrier) For 6 lane use 22’ (2x10’ shoulder + barrier) Just for fun .. Ole lived across the river from Clarence, who he didn't like at all.  They all the time were yelling across the river at each other. Ole would yell to Clarence, "If I had a vay to cross dis river, I'd come over dere an beat you up good, yeah sure ya betcha by golly!" This went on for years. Finally the state built a bridge across the  river right there by their houses. Ole's wife, Lena, says, "Now is you chance, Ole, vhy don't you go over dere and beat up dat Clarence like you said you vood?" Ole says, "OK, by yimmy, I tink I vill do yust dat". Ole started for the bridge but he sees a sign on the bridge an he stops to read it, then he turns around and comes back home. Lena asked, "vhy did you come back?" Ole said, "Lena, I tink I change my mind 'bout beatin' up dat Clarence, you know, dey put a sign on da bridge dat says "Clarence is 13 ft. 6 in."  You know, he don't look near dat big vhen I yell at him from across da river"  


10 Interchanges grade separations with connecting roadways for turning movements Source of figures and reference for text: A Policy on Geometric Design of Highways and Streets (The Green Book). Washington, DC. American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, 2001 4th Ed.

Interchange Warrant #1: Design Designation : 

11 Interchange Warrant #1: Design Designation

Warrant #2: congestion: 

12 Warrant #2: congestion

Warrant #3: safety : 

13 Warrant #3: safety

Warrant #4: topography : 

14 Warrant #4: topography


15 Ramp Types Diagonal one-quadrant ramp Semidirectional outer connection Directional Loops




17 Interchange categories System (freeway to freeway – directional) Service (freeway to arterial or collector – diamond, cloverleaf, etc.)


18 Diamond Use where intersection can handle left turns Simplest (and usually cheapest) One-way diagonal ramp in each quadrant for all turning movements Ramp originates/terminates at either at-grade intersection with cross street or junction with frontage road




20 terrain terrain

Use overpass or underpass?: 

21 Depends on topography, economy, and other minor factors Underpass better for deceleration/acceleration, cost, and advance warning Overpass better for aesthetics Use overpass or underpass?


22 http://www.thenewi64.org/1c4_spui.jsp Problem with the Diamond … Possible solution?

Solution #1: Cloverleaf: 

23 Solution #1: Cloverleaf Full and partial apply where left turns can’t be served (possibly physically) at an intersection and there is the available ROW Loops accommodate LTs http://www.thenewi64.org/1c4_spui.jsp









Advantages of Diamond Over Cloverleaf: 

28 Advantages of Diamond Over Cloverleaf Requires less ROW left-turns travel less distance high speed exit/entrance has expected exit/enter pattern (versus cloverleaf with unexpected pattern and weave section) No weaving section

Advantages of Cloverleaf over Diamond: 

29 Advantages of Cloverleaf over Diamond left turns merge at acute angles Higher left turn capacity turning vehicles may not have to stop don’t need median/signs to prevent wrong way entrance

Solution 2: Single Point Urban Interchange?: 

30 A Single Point Urban Interchange (SPUI) is controlled by one set of traffic signals (highlighted) located at a single point at the center of the interchange. The signals direct thru-traffic, as well as all traffic that must turn left to enter or leave the freeway http://www.thenewi64.org/1c4_spui.jsp Solution 2: Single Point Urban Interchange?


31 Traffic enters the freeway by turning left at the traffic signals, or by turning right onto the access ramps http://www.thenewi64.org/1c4_spui.jsp


32 Exit ramps from the freeway divide left and right as they approach the local road. Traffic turning left is controlled by traffic signals at the single point. http://www.thenewi64.org/1c4_spui.jsp


33 Short span, wide deck


34 http://www.thenewi64.org/1c4_spui.jsp


35 http://www.thenewi64.org/1c4_spui.jsp


36 Source: Stanley Consultants, Inc.


37 Long span, regular deck


38 http://www.thenewi64.org/1c4_spui.jsp

Advantages of SPUI: 

39 All 4 LT movements controlled by single traffic signal RT are freeflow movements Good with narrow ROW Higher capacity Advantages of SPUI


40 Disadvantages of SPUI High construction costs Difficult for pedestrians to negotiate Complex intersection and signal phases may be unfamiliar to drivers Multilane ramps or surface streets can lead to very large areas of uncontrolled pavement (used by vehicles in more than one direction) Distance between stop bars on surface street creates problems for bicycles, who need more time to clear the area between them More free-flow motor vehicle movements (part of what increases the SPUI's capacity) makes it harder for pedestrians to safely cross The standard traffic signal timing does not include a phase for pedestrian crossing; again, capacity and safety are at odds Vehicle clearance time (where all lights must be red) is longer Longer or wider overpasses can require larger bridge girders; retrofits can require raising the bridge or lowering the road underneath http://www.kurumi.com/roads/interchanges/spui.html


41 Directional/Semi-Directional Apply: freeway to freeway or other intersecting roadways with major turning movements (where diamond, cloverleaf or SPUI can’t handle the volumes) Allows higher LOS Advantages over cloverleaf Higher speed left turn less weaving (often none) normal exit/entrance patterns










46 Characteristics/Comparison of Basic Interchange Types


47 Diamond with a Loop Diamond Tight Diamond Alternatives


48 Alternatives Diamond with Flyover Loop with Flyover Diamond


49 Alternatives Partial Cloverleaf (ParClo) Northbound Left Exit Partial Cloverleaf (Shifted North) Northbound Right Exit Folded Diamond Half Diamond Source: CH2MHill/Kirkham Michael http://projects.ch2m.com/us287lamar/

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