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Argos working to upgrade dangerous intersection

ARGOS, Ind. -- After turning down INDOT's proposal to build a j-turn at the intersection of SR 10 and US 31 in Argos, the town is looking for alternatives to make this notoriously dangerous crossroad safer.

“I would say avoid this intersection at all costs," said Argos Town Council member, Dylan Colburn.

The council clerk-treasurer said in the last two weeks, there have been nine accidents, 12 injuries, and three helicopters at that intersection.

“I cross it at least twice a day coming to and from work and then multiple times a day during work...You get people stacked up in the intersection there, three, four people deep. You have people turning off east and westbound from north and south. It kind of locks up the intersection, makes it hard to see around, people start honking horns, somebody gets impatient, starts taking off, and that’s usually when there’s an accident," said Argos Assistant Superintendent, Doug Middleton.

Middleton has seen the wreckage.

Besides serving as assistant superintendent, he's the assistant fire chief, works for EMS, and is also a member of the Argos School Board.

He said that their buses aren't even allowed to drive through the intersection because the state ruled that it was too dangerous.

“It’s dangerous. The traffic count gets higher and higher each and every year. That’s INDOT statistics," said Colburn.

Per INDOT's graph, traffic count north on US 31 has increased pretty steadily since 2011 to more than 15,000 cars a day in one direction and nearly another 14,000 on average south.

“It’s just time that we get it upgraded to something substantial that will work. INDOT has looked at this intersection multiple times, come back with the J-turn scenario, which was shot down...I think it just moves side-end wrecks to rear-end wrecks," said Doug.

An INDOT representative insisted on the phone that j-turns are proven to improve safety and are the most feasible option  for Argos.

While townspeople disagree with that solution, they are in agreement that something has to be done.

“I think it’s time we get something done before we lose another life out here," said Doug.

Both Doug and Dylan think building overpasses are a better option than j-turns.

The town council says they're planning to send a letter outlining some concerns and suggestions to politicians and INDOT.

The INDOT rep. says he'd be more than happy to discuss other options with the council if they decide to reach out.


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