Indiana to pay $7.5 million for 'dogbone' at dangerous Michiana intersection

Published: Dec. 5, 2017 at 4:14 PM EST
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A Michiana intersection’s dangerous days are numbered.

A $7.5 million safety improvement project is in the works at INDOT.

“It’s the last one. It’s the last rural intersection where two four (lane) divided roads (highways) come together at a stop light,” said INDOT spokesman Doug Moats. “There’s not any of those left in the entire state, this is the last one.”

In this case the light will be replaced by a bridge.

The intersection where S.R. 2 and U.S. 20 meet between LaPorte and New Carlisle is used by an estimated 25,000 vehicles a day. An INDOT study done in 2015 produced some startling numbers. “It showed that 80 crashes in about four and a half years so that's quite a bit and that resulted in 144 injuries,” said Moats.

Bill Welch owns a car lot about a half mile west of the intersection. He remembers one car he sold that never made it further than the intersection before it became a statistic. “There's accidents there often, I can't really tell you the number of them but they're usually pretty bad because cars are doing 60 miles an hour, truck car accidents a lot of times.”

Turns out the answer is a $7.5 million dollar "dogbone." The shaft of the bone would be a bridge that would carry north and southbound traffic safely over the east and westbound vehicles.

The ends of the bone above and below the bridge are roundabouts that would allow vehicles to change directions.

“They'll eliminate the stoplight which needs to happen,” said Ind. Sen. Michael Bohacek. “We have that industrial park right in New Carlisle, it's continuing to grow, and there's no real good way to get to I-94 or the toll road so you're bound to that stretch of road.”

This will be the first dogbone intersection in the area (in the LaPorte INDOT District). Dogbones tend to be cheaper than interchanges.

Public hearings on the project are scheduled to take place in the fall of 2018. The project would go out for bid later that year, with completion set for 2019.