An intermittent road closure in Indiana has drivers ignoring ‘road closed’ signs, leading to property damage from excessive u-turns and a plea from officials to observe the closure.
Phase two of construction on State Road 64 in Francisco, Indiana began on March 1st after the completion of phase one late last year. This construction has once again forced the closure of the road, which officials say has drivers confused and ignoring the detours.
“I’ve been here for about 45 minutes, I’ve already seen about 20 cars and trucks go around the barricades,” Sgt. Ringle said around 12:30 p.m. Wednesday to 14 News. “I’ve seen one semi go around the barricade, and it took him about 15-20 minutes just to make that simple u-turn.”
Officials say these u-turns have caused damage to road signs and residents’ yards, presenting both a safety and property issue.
“There’s quite a bit of work going on, it’s a very involved project,” Jason Tiller, the Communications Director for INDOT Southwest said. “Lots of things that have to be done — and done under complete closure. There is no way for traffic to safely pass during the project.”
“It’s imperative that they remember when it says ‘road closed ahead’ that you understand the road is actually closed ahead,” Tiller said, adding that it took drivers some time to get used to the road closure last year as well.
“There’s a great detour locally if you are in a passenger car or a small truck, but if you’re in a semi, you have to utilize US 41, State Road 168 or I-69,” Ringle said.
Drivers are urged to utilize this detour to prevent further damage and save themselves the trouble of a difficult and damaging u-turn.