WAKARUSA – It’s a road that’s been the scene of a lot of accidents, and now the state is stepping in.
The Indiana Department of Transportation plans to improve the intersection of State Road 19 and County Road 38, just north of Wakarusa.
People who live there say they’ve seen a lot of close calls.
“There’s been fatals out there,” said Denny Grove.
At certain times of the day, the intersection sees its fair share of traffic. The problem is drivers making turns at S.R. 19 and C.R. 38.
“There are near misses pretty regularly at the corner, and two or three weeks ago, there was an accident that knocked the stop sign over,” said Karen Bird, who lives near the intersection.
Line of sight distances are sometimes hard to judge approaching the intersection. C.R. 38 doesn’t meet evenly at S.R. 19. The intersection is offset. Also, a rise in the road on S.R. 19 doesn’t help.
“The visibility, if you are going eastbound or westbound to the north, is pretty bad there at the hill,” said Grove. “I have said for a long time that this hill should be taken down for the visibility issue.”
One homeowner who WSBT spoke to, who didn’t wish to go on camera, said there are a fair amount of accidents due in part to the current layout of the road, accidents that happen more often in the early morning hours and when the weather is bad.
Chuck Kurk, who lives nearby, says it’s a challenge sometimes when slowing down on S.R. 19 to turn on C.R. 38 when there is a lot of traffic.
“I have to slow down a lot, and I have traffic coming up behind me at about 50-55 miles per hour, and I have to make a turn at about 25,” said Kurk.
“I think it is a dangerous intersection,” added Bird. “I am sure I am not alone in believing that.”
Right now, the state is looking into a proposal to put in two opposing left turn lanes on S.R. 19 while improving sight lines at all four lanes of the intersection.
You can get a look at the plans at the Wakarusa Public Library.