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Officials with the Indiana Department of Transportation say the opening of two J-Turn intersections on U.S. 231 near Dale are expected today.

According to Foreman, Jon Sigler, from JBI Construction the J-Turns are planned to fully be opened sometime after 3pm today. He and other crews were working the roads earlier today for final reviews of the construction.

Contractors plan to open all components of the J-Turn intersections at U.S. 231 and State Road 62/68. The most recent phase of construction closed the intersection medians to install curbs and signage to direct drivers when making left turns from U.S. 231.

Contractors will still be on site to finish smaller components of the project- such as grass seeding and other general items, so motorists are asked to continue using caution in the area.

Based on extensive study, INDOT has concluded that J-Turns will drastically improve safety at the intersections of U.S. 231 and State Road 62 & 68. National statistics show more than 50 percent declines in crash rates at intersections where J-Turns are installed.

This is achieved by reducing the number of conflict points that a motorist must navigate. A traditional intersection on a divided highway has 42 conflict points, 24 of which are right angle conflicts. A J-Turn intersection only has 24 conflict points and only 4 of them are right angle conflict points.

The new configuration will prevent State Road 62 & 68 traffic from crossing or making left turns onto U.S. 231. Movements will be made indirectly by making right turns, travelling a short distance and making a legal U-Turn. Left turns will be allowed from U.S. 231 on to State Road 62 and 68.

INDOT aims to further improve safety as more of intersections of this type are built and drivers become more familiar.

INDOT officials have taken steps to work with local residents in tailoring the intersections’ design to area specific needs including heavy truck and local farm traffic.

Design improvements include:

  • Lengthened turn lanes in both the north and southbound lanes to make it easier for trucks and farm traffic to safely maneuver into the proper lane.
  •  U-Turns designed to accommodate standard tractor trailer length
  • Mountable curbs in the U-Turn sections for over-sized vehicles
  • Extensive lighting for both maneuvers and for warning
  • An island median to allow for left turns while travelling U.S. 231
  • Non-mountable curbs in the island to discourage improper movements
  • Diagram signage

Motorists can learn more about highway work zones and other traffic alerts at indot.carsprogram.org, by calling 800-261-ROAD or 511 from a mobile phone.

You can follow @INDOTSouthwest on Twitter and at Facebook.com/INDOTVincennesDistrict.

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