City ready to direct traffic if drivers flummoxed

When the new Worthsville Road interchange opens, don’t expect to see police out directing traffic.

Both state and city officials hope that motorists already will either know how to use the interchange or find that the design is easy enough to understand that traffic will move through without any issues.

But if problems do come up, the city will be ready to send officers.

Local and state officials have spent time preparing for the new interchange, which will open next week. Experts expect about 15,000 vehicles to pass though the interchange every day.

This week, police officers, dispatchers and firefighters were invited to a private meeting to discuss and tour the new interchange, said Harry Maginity, an Indiana Department of Transportation spokesman.

They were shown how the design works, familiarizing each local department with the interchange so personnel would be prepared to navigate it in an emergency.

The state also has posted instructional videos on the traffic flow through the interchange on the INDOT website, Maginity said.

Crawford Murphy Tilly Engineers and Consultants designed the interchange and hosted an open house at Clark-Pleasant Middle School in 2012 to inform residents about the diverging diamond design. The firm had a public forum in 2013 where more questions and concerns were answered, project manager Adam Burns said.

“The biggest questions, or confusion, referred to the stigma of driving on the wrong side of the road. Understand, it’s not the wrong side of the road. It’s the left side of the road. But overall, people were interested and in favor of this type of interchange,” Burns said.

When the ramp opens next week, officials said the interchange is self-explanatory enough that local and state police don’t plan to assist in directing traffic.

Greenwood Police Department officers will monitor the interchange in its opening days but have no plans to help with directing traffic unless problems come up, Police Chief John Laut said. State police would get involved only if any traffic issues involved the interstate, Sgt. Rich Myers said.

On the Web

Information about diverging diamond interchanges, including an animated instructional video, is available at in.gov/indot/3259.htm/.

Pull Quote

“The biggest questions, or confusion, referred to the stigma of driving on the wrong side of the road. Understand, it’s not the wrong side of the road. It’s the left side of the road.”

Adam Burns, project manager for Crawford Murphy Tilly Engineers and Consultants, on the new Worthsville Road interchange

Author photo
Corey Elliot is a reporter at the Daily Journal. He can be reached at celliot@dailyjournal.net or 317-736-2719.