According to documents from the Indiana Department of Transportation, there is one option to improve safety at the intersection of the State Road 60 and the bypass – to build a single-lane roundabout. 

According to INDOT, the reason for the construction is to improve safety concerns at the bypass. 

Doing nothing, which isn’t an option for INDOT, will continue to allow accidents at or near the bypass and add to the 34 accidents already on record.

In fact, another accident just took place the other day – the first in 2020. 

INDOT will host a public hearing this Wednesday, January 15, 2020 at Salem City Hall, 201 East Market Street, Salem, IN 47167.  The hearing will begin at 6:00 p.m.

Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. to allow the public to view displays and talk with INDOT personnel prior to the hearing. A presentation about the project will begin at 6 p.m.

Verbal statements will be heard during a public comment session immediately following the presentation. Written comments may be submitted prior to the public hearing and within the comment period (by Friday, Jan. 31) to INDOT Public Hearings, IGCN Room N642, 100 N. Senate Avenue, Indianapolis, IN 46204, or via email to [email protected].

The estimated cost of the project which will take approximately 7 months will be $1.6 million. 

According to INDOT, from 2012 to 2017, there have been nine fatalities (or accidents with incapacitating injuries) which is 27 percent out of the 34 accidents. 

According to INDOT, 19 of those crashes were right angle or left-turn crashes. 

Crashes due to these contributing factors can be contributed to the current intersection configuration, according to INDOT documents. 

Local officials and residents have asked for a stoplight at the intersection since the first fatality took place there not long after the bypass opened in 2012.  

The proposed roundabout will have an inscribed circle diameter of 154 feet and will provide a 12-foot wide truck apron and 18-foot wide circulating roadway width. 

Existing guardrails along the southside of the intersection and a portion of the existing guardrail along the north side of SR60 to the east of the bypass will be removed and not replaced. 

A new guardrail will be installed. 

Approximately 17 luminaries will be installed throughout the area to provide adequate lighting. 

Construction is anticipated to begin in Spring 2021 and will last approx. seven months. 

The roundabout will be constructed and utilizing phased construction – furthermore, the Salem Bypass will be closed for the construction while SR 60 remains open to through traffic and vice versa. 

The official Salem Bypass detour will utilize SR 135 through the Town of Salem, SR 56 and US 150, requiring approx. 43.1 mile and 51 minutes of drive time. 

SR 60 will remain open as long as possible through-construction but will be closed to complete curb work. 

The official SR 60 detour will utilize SR 56 and I-65, requiring approx. 38.6 miles and 38 minutes of drive time.