Zionsville Times Sentinel

August 14, 2013

Sheriff highlights high-hazard intersection

By Rod Rose
For the Times Sentinel

---- — What Sheriff Ken Campbell considers Boone County’s most dangerous intersection could see more traffic than usual over the next few days.

Drivers at the junction of U.S. 52 and Indiana 47 are at higher peril of a crash than anywhere else, Campbell said. Repaving of the U.S. 52 ramp to southbound Interstate 65, on Lebanon’s northwest side, was to have begun Thursday. Because detours can only use state or federal highways, drivers will be directed from the 52-47 intersection east to the 47 on-ramp to I-65.

“They better hurry on that or we’ll have a bunch more wrecks there,” Thorntown Fire Chief Mike Martin said.

The intersection is in the jurisdiction of the Thorntown/Sugar Creek Fire Department.

“Out there, you’ve got traffic running 65 mph, even though they’ve ‘reduced’ the speed limit,” Campbell said.

Rumble strips have been installed, and the speed limit reduced to 50 mph on U.S. 52 north and south of the intersection. Cutting the speed limit hasn’t had an appreciable difference in the number of crashes, Martin said.

“I don’t think it has helped that much,” Martin said. “It doesn’t seem like the (emergency) run load has dropped that much.”

In late July, eerily-identical accidents happened on back-to-back days, Martin said.

“The cars almost ended up in the same spot,” he said.

Both times, the crash involved a driver who was going south on U.S. 52 and drove across the intersection to go east on Ind. 47.

See Wednesday's Times Sentinel for more on this story.