Vote postponed on SR 1 curve changes in Leo

Several signs, rumble strips, and lower speed limits alert drivers heading into a 90 degree curve on SR 1 in Leo. Regardless, dozens of vehicles have crashed.

LEO-CEDARVILLE, Ind. (WANE) – The Leo Town Council is looking at possible changes to a problematic part of State Road 1.

NewsChannel 15 first reported the safety concern in a 15 Finds Out investigation last month.

There have been 43 accidents in the last eleven years along that curve on State Road 1. That prompted INDOT to create a proposal to fix the curve. Tuesday night, the Leo Town Council and the public got a closer look at what that plan would include.

Council said there are three phases of improvements to fix the curve:

1. INDOT adds more signage/possible radar detecting speed limit sign. City closes the entry-way to SR 1 from two roads- Main Street and St. Joseph Street.

2. Leo considering bushes, guardrails, etc. to go behind the signage. Town wouldn’t do this until after INDOT constructs new signage.

3. INDOT could possibly add 3D optics (different paint on the road, etc.) when it resurfaces the road in 2016.

INDOT presented the first phase at Tuesday night’s meeting.  If council approves it, that should take two to three months to complete. Council hopes it will be done by the end of summer. Council ended up postponing the vote Tuesday night. It said it needs more time to consider the plan as three of its members heard it for the first time Tuesday. Council also wants to give the public a chance to weigh in.

Jane King has lived right by the curve for the last 11 years. Her home has been hit several times. She said she appreciates INDOT’s efforts, but doesn’t think the signs are enough to stop the problem. King would like guard rails to be added to the road to protect her home and her children.

“I’m a little disappointed that it’s going to take longer. I would like to see the whole thing get done quickly. It’s scary. Honestly, I’m really worried something is going to happen before anything takes place,” King said. “I think the signs will help to show people that they need to turn, but if they’re impaired in any way and they’re slow to turn and fast to hit the accelerator, my house is the target.”

Leo Town Council President Kevin Veatch said the main concern in closing the entry-way to SR 1 from Main Street and St. Joseph Street had to do with impacting emergency responders and their access to the neighborhood.

“Our responsibility is for everyone on that curve including the people on the back, which is why we met with emergency service providers as well. They have no concern or issue by closing that access to those roads,” Veatch said.

After the first phase is done, INDOT would do continual studies to see how effective the signs are, and make improvements and adjustments as necessary.

There will be a public hearing on the proposal at council’s next meeting on April 28th. The meeting will be held at the pavilion at the Imagination Station at 9825 St. Joseph Street in Leo.

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