New accident-reducing stoplights coming to Greenwood

Traveling through Greenwood on U.S. 31 soon will become a safer commute for southside motorists.

This summer, when you approach busy Greenwood intersections on the highway, stoplights will be more visible and you’ll react to the traffic signal sooner, traffic experts say.

Beginning in May, the Indiana Department of Transportation will start installing 364 stoplights in three cities with a black back plate and a rectangular reflective border.

Seven Greenwood intersections were included in INDOT’s project, replacing more than 50 stoplights along U.S. 31. The Greenwood intersections are at Apryl Drive, Worthsville Road, Stop 18, Smith Valley, Fry and County Line roads and Main Street.

Greenwood is one of three cities that will receive the new stoplights. Intersections along U.S. 50 in Seymour and State Road 46 in Bloomington also will receive the new stoplights, according to the news release.

The back plate and reflective border work as a visual aid for motorists. When you’re driving toward the intersection, the black back plate on the stoplight improves visibility of the traffic signal. And the reflective border will do more to alert drivers of the intersection when a power outage has occurred and the stoplight is not working, according to a news release from INDOT.

“Along U.S. 31 in Greenwood, every traffic signal will be replaced,” INDOT spokesman Harry Maginity said. “This is going to happen all over the state. Wherever there is a signal, there will be a change out to the new signal. We will introduce this bit-by-bit over time.”

The project will focus on busy highways across the state, Maginity said. On Thursday, INDOT finalized plans with Michiana Contracting of Plymouth, the company installing the signals, for the first phase of the project in south central Indiana, Maginity said.

The project will cost the state about $296,000 and will be completed by July 31, according to the news release.

INDOT is transitioning to the new stoplights after a Federal Highway Administration study revealed the reduction in accidents at intersections with the traffic signals, according to the news release.

After installation of the new stoplights, crashes at intersections with the new traffic signals reduced by almost 29 percent, according to the Federal Highway Administration’s study.

The new signals also reduced crashes with injuries by as much as 37 percent, and accidents occurring later at night and during the early morning hours decreased by almost 50 percent, according to the Federal Highway Administration’s study.

Corey Elliot is a reporter at the Daily Journal. He can be reached at or 317-736-2719.