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Accident hotbed gets plans for fix


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Plans for a roundabout proposed to increase motorist safety near Southern Crossing will be unveiled during a public meeting at Clifty Creek Elementary School.

Project maps and displays for the proposed intersection improvements at U.S. 31 and County Road 400S, also known in that stretch as Southern Crossing, can be viewed in the school’s cafeteria starting at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Presenters will describe the project and its benefits at 6 p.m.

The project design engineer and other officials from the Indiana Department of Transportation will be available to answer questions and concerns.

When the proposal was unveiled in June 2012, state highway officials said the intersection was the site of 21 crashes that resulted in seven injuries over a three-year period.

That figure ranked the Bartholomew County intersection among the top 5 percent of most dangerous state highway intersections, INDOT spokesman Will Wingfield said.

Several of the collisions at the intersection, located a mile-and-a-half south of State Road 7, resulted in right-angle or T-bone crashes, Wingfield said.

Both state and county law enforcement officers say Southern Crossing is a popular route for many people living in eastern and southern Bartholomew County and Jennings County, especially as a route to the industrial parks near Walesboro.

While INDOT officials have installed traditional traffic signals, state highway engineers believe a roundabout will further reduce serious accidents, Wingfield said.

State highway engineers, who believe the circular intersections improve traffic flow in heavy traffic, have been increasingly installing roundabouts throughout Indiana as a way to reduce the opportunities for right-angle collisions, Wingfield said.

If you go

WHAT: Presentation of proposed intersection improvements, specifically a roundabout at U.S. 31 South and County Road 400S on the east side of Southern Crossing

WHEN: 6 p.m. Wednesday. Maps and displays available for viewing at 5:30 p.m.

WHERE: Clifty Creek Elementary School cafeteria, 4625 E. County Road 50N, Columbus

WHO: Presentation conducted by the Indiana Department of Transportation

NOTABLE: More information on the roundabout proposal is expected to be posted on the Seymour District page at the INDOT website at in.gov/indot/2706.htm.

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