PRINCETON, In. (WEHT) – The Indiana Department of Transportation held its first public meeting about the intersection of U.S. 41 and County Road 100 West tonight. Residents got the chance to see potential improvement plans and give input, and officials say plans to make changes are underway.
“There were a lot of crashes there,” says INDOT Southwest Public Relations Director Gary Brian. “We noticed a trend.” Officials say 22 accidents have happened at the intersection since 2020. According to INDOT, statistics show that 5 percent of those accidents were fatal and 23 percent caused serious injury. Brian says the majority of those crashes were broadside, or “T-bone” collisions.
“We looked at all the options we had and determined that a reduced conflict intersection was our best bet,” says Brian. “We change it where if you are trying to turn left- you turn right first and then you go up the road a little bit and then you make an immediate U-turn; that way you turn right and see traffic from this angle and you don’t have the pressure of trying to figure out when this traffic is going to clear up.”
INDOT says after implementing this plan in a Knox County community, crashes were significantly reduced. Not everyone is on board with this decision, however. Thomas Sertich lives near the intersection and worries about truck drivers making the turn. “How do you judge making a U-turn with people going 70 when it is posted 60?”
Sertich also says he’s worried about the construction and where traffic will be re-routed, given that some of the nearby county roads are not built to handle semi truck traffic. When designing the proposed intersection, Gary Brian says INDOT engineers kept semitrailer trucks in mind, noting that a long enough turn lane is planned to accommodate them.
The turn lanes will be about 800 feet long. INDOT says they hope to start construction in the spring of 2024. The entire project is expected cost a little over $3 million.