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Deadly intersection along US 31 still waiting on safety improvements

Published: Aug. 17, 2020 at 5:46 PM EDT
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Argos, Ind. (WNDU) -

Its a project that’s been discussed for years; looking at safety improvements along US-31 where it intersects IN-110. That intersection saw another fatal crash over the weekend. 

16 News Now reached out to the Indiana Department of Transportation to learn more about where the safety improvement project stands that is planned for that intersection.

“That intersection has been identified as needing an intersection improvement for safety,” Cassandra Bajek says. She does public relations INDOT Northwest

According to the Fulton County Sheriff’s Department, an accident over the weekend at that intersection claimed the life of 84-year-old Ralph Winters who is a former member of the Culver Town Council. His wife Barbara Winters was driving their Honda Pilot when they were struck by another vehicle heading south on US-31 as Winters was crossing on IN-110. This is the third crash at this intersection in the past week. Barbara Winters was transported to the hospital and her condition is unknown at this time.

Ralph Winters could still be alive if that J-Turn was in place.

“If we had a J-Turn there, a right angle crash would be less-likely, so it would be possible that having that reduced conflict intersection would make it less likely for that crash to occur,” Bajek says.

A J-Turn has been in discussion for years, but nothing so far.

“A J-Turn has been selected because they’re actually proven to reduce crashes by 50% and reduce the serious nature of crashes or injuries by 75%,” Bajek adds.

So when is this happening? Well not until 2023 at the latest according to INDOT, but it could happen sooner based on access to funding. It will cost around a million dollars, 80% of that is federal funds and 20% from the state. INDOT says the delay is due to planning the improvement and figuring out that funding.

In the meantime, be cautious when driving through this intersection or making a left-hand turn so you can avoid a possible deadly collision. 

“It’s always definitely rough to hear that that’s happened, especially when we have an intersection that we have identified as needing a safety improvement,” Bajek says.

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