INDOT unveils new plan for SR 66 and Orchard Road intersection

Local

SPENCER COUNTY, In. (WEHT) — Changes may be coming soon for an intersection that some in the community consider dangerous.

On Wednesday, INDOT unveiled the latest plan for changes at the intersection of Orchard Road and SR 66.

Officials say increasing capacity and improving drainage are the two primary purposes of the project. Hopefully, it will help save lives.

“My son, Jacob Hamilton, was killed at that intersection in March 2013,” said Jamie Hogston. “Leaving school, going home.”

Jacob was just one of many students over the years driving Orchard Road and SR 66 to get to school every day. He passed away before there were traffic lights at the intersection.

Back then, there were only traffic signs.

Now, there are lights, and INDOT unveiled a plain to make the intersection even safer.

“Expand that left turning lane movement, we’re also going to be looking at the timing of the signal,” said INDOT Public Involvement Director Rickie Clark.

The new proposal includes through lanes on 66 with dedicated turn lanes onto Orchard Road on both sides. Several pipes would also be replaced and a new curb and gutter with a storm sewer would also be installed.

Of course, student safety is a big focus.

“We need designated lanes for the buses, especially the buses,”said South Spencer High School Principal Jim Bush. “Having to be able to make the wide turns to turn in here safely, the designated turn lanes so there’s not a danger of getting rear-ended.” 

“I’m happy with this, I feel like this is going to be a good thing, so. And Jacob would be happy.”

According to the plan, intersection construction would take place in summer 2021.

You can see the full plan here.

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