INDOT hosts informational meeting for changes to U.S. 41 in Knox County

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OAKTOWN, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) – Over recent years, U.S. 41 between the intersections of Freelandville Road and Old U.S. 41 have proven to be dangerous for some drivers.

“The majority of the vehicle accidents and things that have happened are from failure to yields. A lot of t-bone accidents, a lot of severe accidents,” said Lora Phillipe, INDOT project manager.

Currently, drivers that pass through that area can cross U.S. 41 at both of those intersections.

To help reduce the number of serious accidents, the medians of these intersections will be removed and replaced by “J-turns” which are described as two median U-turn intersections.

Wednesday afternoon, INDOT held an informational meeting to show people what this will look like.

“We have come and met with the community on two different occasions about this project. We wanted to come again and kind of do a hands-on before the median U-turns open and give everyone a chance to see how it’s going to work,” Phillipe said.

A Knox County official says he believes the change coming to the intersections is necessary.

“It’s going to take a while for the citizens to accept the way it’s going and get used to the traffic flow but it’s definitely going to save lives,” said David Culp, Knox County councilman

There are others who are still unsure if J-turns are the best answer for safety near these intersections.

“I think there’s going to be a lot of rear ends and stuff because they’re going to have to get in the passing lane to make that J-turn,” said Mark Owens, local resident.

Phillipe says the median U-turns are expected to be finished the second week of August, at that time the medians where people currently cross will be closed.

The entire project is scheduled for completion in mid-September.

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