Decision made over stoplight at dangerous Boone County intersection

THORNTOWN, Ind (WISH) – On Monday, 24-Hour News 8 learned a temporary stoplight in Boone County will be made permanent.

Seeing red at the U.S. 52, S.R. 47 intersection in Boone County is something drivers are going to have to get used to.

“It’s so much safer now for the buses, and for the traffic flow, and everything it’s really the best thing that they could ever do,” Thorntown resident Vicki Ranzolph said.

“I think it’s a good thing,” Mulberry resident Dale Newhart said. “It makes it a lot safer through there for sure. People slow down and it’ll be good.”

“I’m extremely happy that (it) showed that it needed to be a permanent structure there,” Boone County Sheriff Mike Nielsen said.

Nielsen has pushed for the light. He said since it went in, there’s only been two minor accidents.

“That traffic signal made a heck of a difference after going up and the numbers that we see proves that that light needs to be there and remain there,” Nielsen said.

The light went up in August, after there was an increase in traffic due to the Interstate 65 detour. INDOT started studying it in October, once drivers got used to it.

Officials said a big factor in keeping the light there was right hand turns. Their studies have shown that when drivers come off S.R. 47 and hit the light, there’s less likely of a chance of an accident when they turn right, unlike the stop sign that was there before.

They also looked at past crash history. From September 2009 until September 2012, there were 30 accidents at the intersection. And now that the light is there, there’s hope the numbers will go down.

“We’ve done what we were supposed to do to try to make sure that those accidents happen at a minimum,” Nielsen said.

INDOT said it could be several weeks before work is complete to make the structure permanent.