VERMILLION COUNTY, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — Changes are coming to the State Road 63 and State Road 234 intersection in Vermillion County.

Indiana Department of Transportation representatives visited North Vermillion Elementary School on Tuesday for a meeting with several state and local leaders. The discussion was focused on concerns over the SR 63/SR 234 intersection and what could be done to make it safer.

Demands for changes to the intersection have been going on for decades and were reignited by the recent death of North Vermillion High School student Cameron Cheuvront.

According to INDOT Crawfordsville District Public Relations Director Megan DeLucenay, the meeting ended with both short-term and long-term plans in place.

“A lot of the short-term measures were things that we were already going to implement prior to this fatality,” DeLucenay shared. “So, those dual LED flashing stop signs on state road 234; we expect to have those installed by the end of next week. The same goes for those dual LED flashing intersection warning signs; we expect those to be installed by the end of the next week. We are going to go ahead and still install some of that overhead street lighting to improve that nighttime visibility in the area; we expect to have that done by the end of October.”

INDOT is also going to reduce the speed limit around the intersection. The speed limit is currently 55 mph.

Additionally, INDOT has plans to implement a pilot program that is already in place in Vigo County at U.S. 41 and Evans Avenue. It’s called a intersection collision warning system, or ICWS.

“These systems use vehicle detectors under the pavement,” DeLucenay explained. “If they detect a vehicle that’s either waiting or passing through the intersection, it’ll give you a flash. So, it has amber flashing lights and also different messages signage. We can change what that says, but it would say something like vehicle approaching or entering intersection with traffic involved.”

DeLucenay said these programs have had success in other states, with data showing ICWSs can reduce traffic wrecks by up to 30%.

Timeline of SR 63/SR 234 changes

  • June 6-10: dual LED-flashing stop signs installed on SR 234
  • June 6-10: dual LED-flashing intersection warning signs installed on SR 63
  • Within 8-10 weeks: speed limit reduced on SR 63 near SR 234 intersection
  • By end of October: overhead street lighting installed near intersection
  • Long-term: intersection collision warning system installed at intersection

Vermillion County Commissioner RJ Dunavan said he was pleased with INDOT’s response to the community’s demands for change and added that the push will continue for improvements.

“That’s a big thing holding their feet to the fire on some of this stuff and doing more studies,” Dunavan said. “They didn’t rule out taking the bridge out to grade, which I was happy to hear. They didn’t say they would do it, but at the same token, they didn’t rule it out.”

INDOT will continue to ask for feedback from the public as they work to improve safety at the intersection.

“Public hearings will be held for input as well before we make any major changes,” DeLucenay said. “And we will make sure to get the word out on social media and send out releases, just making sure that the public does have an opportunity to come and hear kind of the options that we have.”

There will be two more traffic studies conducted at the SR 63/SR 234 intersection – one in June and one in September.

DeLucenay also mentioned that INDOT offered to send engineers into schools to help with driver safety education for young drivers.