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On Wednesday morning, State Senator Erin Houchin (R-Salem) held a meeting at the Salem City Hall with Indiana Department of Transportation Commissioner Joe McGuinness to discuss safety concerns at the Salem Bypass.

Senator Houchin and Commissioner McGuinness were joined by Salem Mayor Troy Merry, Clerk-Treasurer Sally Hattabaugh, members of the Salem City Council, Washington County Commissioners, representatives from the Sheriff’s Department, and local business leader, John Jones.

“Our community is rightfully concerned about safety at the Salem Bypass. In just a short time, we have experienced numerous accidents, one fatality, and even more close calls,” Houchin said. “While some safety measures have been put in place, we wanted to invite INDOT Commissioner Joe McGuinness to personally survey the bypass, and discuss further options with local leaders.”

A number of possible safety options were discussed, including adding overhead caution or traffic lights, an overpass interchange, or a roundabout. 

The group also urged INDOT to implement temporary measures such as additional rumble strips and signage while a long-term solution is vetted.

“All options will be explored in the coming months,” Houchin said. “The safety of our community is a top priority, and I thank Commissioner McGuinness for hearing our concerns and working toward a solution.  I also want to thank our community leaders for their ongoing commitment to this effort as well.”

John Jones reviews the bypass safety issues with Senator Houchin and INDOT.
INDOT met with city and county leaders Wednesday morning with Ind. Senator Erin Houchin.

WSLM contacted INDOT to inquire into the status of the safety of the bypass and the possibility of installing traffic lights at the intersections. 

“The bypass has been a long time coming to the community,” said Becky White, WSLM General Manager. “But without effective traffic control, it seems incomplete and after the loss of one life and multiple close calls, it’s time to do something to ensure the safety of the lives of our residents.”

White received a response from the Seymour district: 

“Your inquiry was sent to the Traffic Investigations Department and their Engineer has reported back that he has conducted a crash history of the intersection as well as analyzed numerous safety improvements for the intersection of State Road 60 and the Salem Bypass.

“INDOT has installed Stop Ahead warning signs and pavement markings, flashers on the warning signs, oversized stop signs, flashing stop signs, and rumble strips to alert drivers of the upcoming intersection.

“INDOT is looking to program an intersection improvement project for a future year that will further improve the safety of the intersection for years to come.”