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October 26, 2013

Sheriff, INDOT: Patience in growing pains

Area drivers express concern over Burlington Avenue.

Snarled traffic. Confusing intersections. Car crashes.

To frequent drivers of Burlington Avenue near the new Hoosier Heartland Highway interchange, the highway’s opening hasn’t all been rosy.

Some concerns stem from the amount of traffic caused when factories get out.

“By Tyson it is a mess…with two factories and all the traffic, it takes about 30 minutes to get to the highway from work,” Elena Doke posted to the Pharos-Tribune’s Facebook page last week.

Michael Franklin, who works at Essroc, agreed it was difficult getting to work.

Another of the 40 comments left in response to a Pharos-Tribune Facebook post added to the litany of complaints.

“It is also bad by Tennerman…they both need stop lights,” Brandi Claiborne Jones said. “I have been saying for weeks that it’s an accident waiting to happen.”

After a car crash on Tuesday, one of two crashes that have occurred since the road opened, readers sounded off about the new interchange. One of the car accidents resulted in personal injury.

Because of the concerns, Indiana Department of Transportation engineers will be sent out to asses the area, said Matt Deitchley, media relations director at INDOT.

“With big projects, there are things that can fall through the cracks,” Dietchley said.

Cass County Sheriff Randy Pryor is urging patience.

“Anytime a new road opens up and there are new avenues, we’re going to have some growing pains,” Pryor said. “People are slowly getting used to the area. With one long ramp, covering Burlington Avenue and U.S. 35, it’s going to take some time.”

Deitchley is also urging patience.

“There is always some confusion when a new area opens up,” Deitchley said.

Pryor asked that people obey stop signs and watch for ongoing constructions. He noted the department is patrolling the area, watching for violations. In one of the car crashes the driver was cited for failure to yield, Pryor said.

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