According to INDOT, 231 study a priority; ISP warns drivers to be cautious – Updated

Update:

The Indiana Department of Transportation is working on improving the intersection of U.S. 231 and Highway 62 now. At this time they are removing some of the existing left turn lanes to “square up the turn lane” of U.S. 231 and Highway 62 southwest of Dale. Additionally INDOT will be adding overhead signs on U.S. 231 before the intersection this summer.

Cher Elliot, INDOT Spokesperson, stated this modification was instituted to make the roadway more familiar to motorists by making it consistent with all the intersections on the corridor. N

Here is a story we did on the issue in September 2011.

There have been 37 reported vehicle accidents on the newly reconfigured section of U.S. Highway 231 from Interstate 64 south to Indiana State Road 70 since it opened in April of 2010. Of the 37 total accidents, 16 have involved personal injuries, and three have been fatal accidents, with a total of five deaths having been recorded (statistics released by the Indiana State Police).

Of these 37 accidents, the overwhelming majority, 24, were reportedly caused by “drivers failing to yield the right of way.”

According to a written statement released by Indiana Department of Transportation Media Relations Director, Cher Elliott, the new highway “met ALL federal and state standards before it was opened to traffic,” and further safety features were added later which exceed federal and state standards:  “Cross traffic does not stop” signs, oversized stop signs, oversized stop bars, rumble strips, additional stop ahead signs, installed an additional stop sign on the left and to the island, pavement markings to guide motorists making left turns through the intersection, flexible delineators were also added to help highlight the intersection.

In a statement released Sept. 6 by the Jasper State Police Post, troopers will be concentrating their enforcement patrols on this particular stretch of highway in an effort to help drivers use more caution.

The Jasper Post Indiana State Police Public Information Officer Sergeant Chad Dick stated, “This new highway is a completely different ballgame. Drivers shouldn’t feel they need to make it across all four lanes at one time.”

He recommends breaking a crossing into sections. “You can always stop in the median and check the traffic from the other direction once you’ve crossed the first two lanes of traffic.”

Sergeant Dick also warned that traffic traveling on Highway 231 will be going around 60 miles per hour. “That’s about a football field every three seconds; some drivers may not realize how fast the cross traffic is approaching.”

Full Statement from Cher Elliott, Indiana Department of Transportation:

Since the entire corridor opened earlier this year, we have addresses local concerns. First, the roadway met ALL federal and state standards before it was opened to traffic. 

After requests had been made to review the intersection, we added the following items to the area which exceed standards:  “Cross traffic does not stop” signs, oversized stop signs, oversized stop bars, rumble strips, additional stop ahead signs, installed an additional stop sign on the left and to the island, pavement markings to guide motorists making left turns through the intersection, flexible delineators were also added to help highlight the intersection.

We have been asked to study the intersection for a signal; however, we could not do that until the entire corridor had been open for six months.  The reason being traffic has to be free flowing through the area and it become a natural movement (as with any roadway change, it takes a little time for motorists to become familiar with the area and we need accurate data). 

A review of that area began last week and we hope to have all of the data collected and analyzed very soon.  Typically, this process is about 3 months, but I know this study is a priority.

 

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