The Indiana Department of Transportation plans to open its new roundabout on U.S. 31 at Southern Crossing/County Road 400S Tuesday night. Motorists will have access to the north-south highway south to County Road 900S where an existing closure for replacement of the three-span bridge at Sand Creek remains in effect until mid- to late-November.
The single-lane roundabout — located 1.6 miles south of State Road 7 — features an 18-foot travel lane and a 10-foot truck apron circling an 85-foot center island. The outside diameter is 156 feet.
Drivers should approach the new roundabout slowly. Look left. If there are vehicles already in the circle, yield. If there are no vehicles in the circle, proceed without stopping — otherwise, wait for a gap in traffic. Drivers always enter and exit by making right turns — never left turns. Don’t stop in the roundabout. Proceed to your point of exit, signal and exit. Roundabouts have a proven record of reducing accidents—especially serious accidents with injuries.
- They virtually eliminate head-on and high-speed right-angle crashes.
- According to insurance industry studies, injury crashes are reduced by 75 percent vs intersections with stop signs or signals.
- Serious injury crashes are reduced by 80 percent.
- Potential vehicle conflict points are reduced from 32 at traditional intersection to eight.
- Traffic flow is more efficient—drivers YIELD but seldom STOP.
Milestone, the state’s contractor for the $8.4 million U.S. 31 project in Bartholomew and Jackson counties, completed its work at the roundabout 12 days ahead of schedule. INDOT’s contract allowed a 60-day closure. The Columbus contractor reopened U.S. 31 after 48 days, earning a per diem bonus for finishing early.
Removal and reconstruction of the U.S. 31 Sand Creek bridge — located 7.2 miles south of State Road 7 at the Bartholomew/Jackson county line — is being done under a 240-day closure. The new bridge will be a 382-foot concrete bulb-T beam structure.
While U.S. 31 is closed between County Road 900S in Bartholomew County to County Road 1100N in Jackson County, a culvert is being installed a Quade Ditch south of the Sand Creek bridge. Earlier, a three-side box culvert was replaced 300 feet north of Sand Creek.