INDOT responds to Boone County Sheriff’s plea after fatal crash

U.S. 52 in Boone County was shut down after a deadly crash in the detour around an I-65 bridge. (WISH Photo/Chopper 8)

BOONE COUNTY, Ind. (WISH) — INDOT released a statement after the Boone County Sheriff made an emotional plea on Facebook for INDOT to install a stoplight along the Interstate 65 detour.

The Facebook post by the Boone County Sheriff, Mike Nielsen, drew a lot of attention Wednesday morning. It’s a post pleading for a stoplight after his department had to notify family members Tuesday that a loved one had been killed on the U.S. 52 detour.

On Wednesday INDOT sent out their respond to his post:

We are deeply saddened by the loss of life. We are working non-stop and dedicating significant resources to ensure public safety.

I-65 northbound was closed for safety reasons as a result of ongoing construction. Since then, we have been working to make the unplanned detour as safe as possible. This includes:
Reducing the speed limit to 45 mph a half mile before the State Road 47 intersection,
Installing temporary “your speed is” signs to reinforce the speed limit,
Posting messages with highly visible dynamic message signs,
Working with State Police to assign extra patrols, and
Monitoring cross-traffic on State Road 47 by our traffic engineers.

We are looking at all possible ways to make the intersection as safe as possible and no solution is off the table. So far, analysis of the crash data we have does not indicate that a signal at this location would have prevented the crash yesterday or others that have occurred since the recent measures were put in place. We continue to vigorously pursue all options.

We are tremendously appreciative of the assistance from law enforcement, and the patience and understanding of the motoring public. We are working diligently to safely reopen I-65 northbound as quickly as possible.

Sheriff Nielsen said that the detour due to the closure of I-65 has resulted in numerous crashes in the area of Tuesday’s fatal crash.

“We have turned a US Highway into an Interstate. The increase in crashes between I-65 and the Clinton County line on US 52 is a direct result of this detour.”

Nielsen said he will continue to push for a light at that intersection.

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