The safety of those traveling Highway 60 is on the radar for the Indiana Department of Transportation.
During a special meeting Wednesday afternoon, Tony McClellan, the deputy INDOT commissioner for the Seymour District, spoke to a room of community members and residents, telling them that the state is aware of the dangers of the road.
He said the state has been watching the road and collecting data to help them better assess the situation.
McClellan said the road is a long-term project that will need funding, but the state is prepared to make a few low-cost changes in the meantime.
He said one of the main issues on the road is the variance in speed at which people are driving. He said some drive 40 mph, while others drive 60 mph. One of the reasons he believes people drive so slow is that they are looking for a particular road. To help with this issue, INDOT is putting up signs along 60 to inform motorists of the upcoming intersection.
Another plan is to put rumble strips on the center line to alert people when they cross the center. McClellan said that is one of the main reasons for many of the accidents along the highway. He said they are planning to install the rumble strips beginning in August.
The third part of the plan is to put police turn offs along the road. McClellan said it is hard for police officers to pull people over on highway 60 because there isn’t a lot of room on the sides of the road. He said if they could give the police room to pull people over, it could be better patrolled.
McClellan said they are hoping to get all three of these projects completed within the year.
In the long-term, he said the state would like to make highway 60 similar to State Road 56 between Salem and Scottsburg. Unfortunately, he said Washington County is competing with counties across the state for money for this road project.
“We all need to become advocates of this project,” said Mayor David Bower.
“We can’t let this project die.”
The mayor said improvements to the road will not only help safety, but also economic development.
“It’s the complete package for our county.”