Guidelines for Preliminary Selection of the Optimum Interchange Type for a Specific Location

Report No: 99-R15

Published in 1999

About the report:

In Virginia, when new construction or major reconstruction is planned, the current practice is for a location and design engineer to select the interchange type for a given location. The engineer relies upon projected traffic data, right-of-way needs, environmental concerns, safety, and project costs to determine which interchange configuration will most efficiently serve the needs of a certain area. The purpose of this study was to develop guidelines to aid designers in the preliminary selection of the optimum interchange type at a location. This study will provide engineers a starting point to begin their analyses. It is hoped that the development of these guidelines will result in reduced costs, improved levels of service, and increased uniformity. A number of sources were used to develop the guidelines. A literature and a nationwide survey of state engineers helped determine current methods for interchange selection. These surveys also assisted in determining the relative advantages and disadvantages of the various interchange types. Also, 10 interchanges throughout Virginia were studied in order to find their operational and safety characteristics. Extensive computer simulations of the interchange types were performed in order to determine traffic characteristics that affected operations at the interchanges. Based on all of these sources, some general guidelines for preliminary interchange type selection were created.

Disclaimer Statement:The contents of this report reflect the views of the author(s), who is responsible for the facts and the accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the Virginia Department of Transportation, the Commonwealth Transportation Board, or the Federal Highway Administration. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation. Any inclusion of manufacturer names, trade names, or trademarks is for identification purposes only and is not to be considered an endorsement.


Last updated: December 12, 2023

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