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INDOT hires ISP to patrol I-65 detour zones

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – The Indiana Department of Transportation is hiring Indiana State troopers to help man the I-65 N detours. Two troopers will work the detours 24-hours a day until the bridge over Wildcat Creek is reopened.

Lt. Thomas McKee said this was something desperately needed for the Lafayette ISP post.

“When the interstate shutdown, we were using a lot of man power just on the detour, to direct traffic and keep the situation under control with crashes,” said McKee.

They are there to assist with any backups, make sure people are following traffic laws, and monitoring for any road rage cases.

Impatience is something Lt. McKee said has been a problem for ISP troopers working these detours.

“We’ve had a few of those where we’ve been called to resolve some disputes with people who did not want to be told that they cannot take I-65 N,” said McKee.

INDOT is also sending their Hoosier Helpers to the area. They are there to assist with any backups caused by disabled vehicles, crashes, or sick or injured motorists on the roadways. Hoosier Helpers usually patrol Indianapolis but INDOT called them here for extra assistance.

“They can help motorists who run out of gas, they can change a tire, they can do some minor mechanical repairs,” said McKee. “They are INDOT employees, they are in lighted vehicles with sometimes much more lighting than a police vehicle has.”

There is no word on how much everything will cost INDOT but they will continue funding the extra ISP troopers until the bridge reopens.

Lt. McKee said he requested ISP motorcycle assistance on the interstate to get people to slow down before entering construction zones. These motorcycle units don’t normally work in this district but Mckee said under the circumstances, he felt they needed the extra assistance. The requested units should be monitoring the interstate for speeding and aggressive driving by mid-morning on Wednesday.