EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT)– On a daily basis more than 700 students walk these hallways. For close to half of them, they have to cross this highway. But now the Indiana Department of Transportation and the city are working together to make their trip to school safer.
After decades of work and worry, those who have fought for a safer way to school got it, and they’re excited.
“After all these years and you’re finally having it here it’s a good improvement for us and it makes us feel like people actually care about what’s going on on this side of town,” Jasmine Bennett says.
The intersection near Bosse High School at Highway 41 and Washington Avenue has been the topic of many conversations.
“There’s a potential for accidents there every day. As of any intersection. But it’s a very high-volume intersection so it stands to reason that we need improved safety measures there,” Mayor Llyod Winnecke says.
The students who use it everyday recognized this. That’s one of the reasons they stood up and rallied for their safety back in May. Mayor Llyod Winnecke says their willingness to stand up for themselves means something.
“It speaks to the power of persuasion by young people. And it says a lot that young people, that future generations of leaders want to step up and say hey listen to us,” Winnecke says.
“Their voice has been instrumental in making change and it will continue to be instrumental in making change not only inside our school and outside our school,” Aaron Huff explains.
Earlier this year the city expressed its concern about the intersection.
That started a study for potential options. But recently, one of the decision-makers got a look at it himself.
“Governor Holcomb watch that corridor with me a few weeks ago he saw firsthand how dangerous that could be and understood why we’re advocating for what we’re advocating for,” Winnecke says.
Their principal Aaron Huff says all the people who worked for this in the past are to thank.
“A need is been fulfilled. And that need is going to make kids really safe as they travel to school,” Huff.
The Indiana Department of Transportation says people should expect a little bit of a traffic change in this area while they’re working to get this bridge built. But in the long run, it’ll help those Bosse High School students who are working to get across the street so they can go to school.
Work is expected to start in 2023.
In the meantime, some short term solutions will be put in place. Like re-phasing the stoplights and installing a J-turn.
(This story was originally published on November 6, 2019)