New U.S. 52 traffic light makes impact on day one

A new safety measure was added on the detoured route of I-65, and so far troopers said it's working. (WISH Photo)

THORNTOWN, Ind. (WISH) – Despite backed-up traffic, an added safety measure is a welcomed sight for many along the detoured route of Interstate 65.

Since the northbound lane of Interstate 65 closed, thousands are taking U.S. 52, adding more time to people’s trips.

“We’re on our way to Chicago, so what are you going to do?” said one driver.

For some, Indiana State Police Trooper Evan Joyner says the answer has been to speed.

“We’re getting speeds from 10 over all the way up to 35 over,” Trooper Joyner.

This created a major problem at the U.S. 52 and State Road 47 intersection. Since the detour started, there have been nine accidents.

That’s not including one not far from the intersection that killed a Lebanon woman this week. To get people to slow down, INDOT added this traffic light.

To find out how it’s going, WISH-TV rode along with Trooper Joyner.

“It’s been a success so far,” Trooper Joyner said. “We haven’t had any crashes. Everyone seems to be following the signals.”

Rumble strips, signs and trooper lights were added to warn people about the change. ”

Trying to avoid crashes right now because there’s going to be some local traffic that have been going through that intersection for years and may not realize there is a red light there and might think it’s still a yellow light,” Trooper Joyner said.

The light hasn’t come without some growing pains. During morning rush hour Friday, vehicles were backed up.

But as the day went on, drivers didn’t seem to mind the new addition.

“No it was fine, the light was fine,” said one driver.

While troopers say the light has made a difference, they’re not going away anytime soon. They expect to have an increased presence in the coming weeks.

And if the light won’t get people to slow down, troopers say they’ll continue to pull people over to keep this stretch safe during the detour.

The light isn’t permanent. INDOT says it’ll review results of how it goes to determine if it’s needed.

As for Interstate 65, officials said they’ll be testing soil this weekend. The goal is to have it re-opened by mid-September.

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