The Indiana Department of Transportation held a public hearing yesterday in New Carlisle, miles from an intersection officials say is one of the most dangerous in the state.
The plan calls for what’s known as a “dog bone” interchange, or two roundabouts to help redirect and slow down traffic on either side of a proposed bridge on the intersection of U.S. Highway 20 and State Road 2, instead of the stoplight in currently in place.
Most residents who participated in public comment were concerned with the traffic issues the proposed project would bring to the local area. INDOT Spokesperson Adam Parkhouse says headaches are inevitable when it comes to construction.
“At the end of the day, we believe we will have a safer and more efficient roadway. At the end of the day, we believe we’ll see the fruits of the labor,” Parkhouse said.
A few residents pointed out that a bridge wouldn’t slow traffic down and were concerned to the degree that INDOT officials took consideration towards the New Prairie Schools in the area. Many said they were worried with how school buses and transportation to school would be affected. They said the problem isn’t necessarily the traffic that drives down U.S. 20 and IN-2, but rather the speed they drive at.
One New Carlisle resident suggested anyone who wanted a first hand experience of the proposed changes should visit Valparaiso, where a similar interchange is in use off State Road 49, saying traffic is still an issue, even with the road improvements. INDOT officials agreed the project is similar but the traffic is not comparable to what the intersection of 20 and 2 sees.
The public hearing was the only one that will be held, although residents have until August 17th to file public comments.