Roundabout Planned near South Spencer High School

It looks like a simple intersection. State Road 66 and County Road 275 West, offset from South Spencer High School in Reo, Indiana.

It’s not particularly busy, says the Indiana Department of Transportation, but it’s suitable for an upgrade. Officials hope to slow cars down and make them pass through safer.

“You want roundabouts of this type in an area that’s low to moderate traffic,” says INDOT spokesman Jason Tiller, “it eliminates the need for a stop.”

Indiana expects to spend more than $1.6 million to upgrade the intersection with a roundabout. INDOT says the work will help the state save money in the long run, by eliminating maintenance costs on traffic lights.

Still, some aren't convinced a roundabout is the best idea, because the concept may be foreign to some across the Tri-State.

“Be that through lack of knowledge or little bit of stubbornness,” says John Hurley at Tuesday’s public hearing with INDOT.

But Tara Lloyd is a South Spencer High mom and civil engineer. She knows the benefits of rounding out an intersection because they are proven safer. “This intersection is not your typical intersection because it serves two schools,” she says.

One school has hundreds of young drivers and some are worried about the big change and how it might confuse high schoolers.

“You're going to see a lot safer type of crash versus a traditional 4-way or stop signal,” Tiller adds.

Tiller says roundabouts make intersections safer because it slows cars down. It just takes some getting used to.

“I will rest easier thinking of [my son] driving through an intersection when traffic is regulated to around 25 miles per hour rather than him pulling out at a light when an oncoming semi could be traveling 65 miles per hour,” Lloyd says.

Plans are not yet confirmed, but INDOT hopes to start construction in 2020, and it will take about 3 or 4 months to finish.


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