Work underway on second median u-turn in Spencer County

median u-turn, or J-turn

This image shows a reduced conflict intersection, or J-turn, that is being installed on US 231 at SR 70 between Dale, Indiana and Rockport, Indiana. (Courtesy: Indiana Department of Transportation)

SPENCER CO., Ind. (WEHT) – Lane restrictions are in place on U.S. 231 between Dale and Rockport as crews work on adding a median U-turn. This is just phase one of a project to make the road safer.

During phase one of construction, the passing lanes in both directions at the intersection of U.S. 231 and SR 70 will be closed while crews install the median U-turn. Extra lighting will also be added to make the traffic changes more visible to drivers.

Phase two of the project is expected to begin in early to mid-June. During this time, both the north and southbound lanes will be closed, and traffic will be using the median-U turn configuration. Work is expected to be completed by early to mid-September.

The median U-turn will prevent left turns from the minor roadways connecting to U.S. 231. INDOT officials say while there is no way to eliminate accidents all together, but this plan would reduce the severity of a crash in the event that one occurs.

In 2011, INDOT widened U.S. 231 in Spencer County to four lanes, and for the first three years, there were at least four deaths and nine injuries at the intersections with S.R. 62 and S.R. 68. Since the intersections were converted to median U-turns in the summer of 2016,  there were only seven crashes, three involved injuries, and zero fatalities.

(This story was originally published on April 9, 2021)

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