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Plans under way to make Laporte County intersection safer

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Plans are under way to change a LaPorte County intersection that scares those who drive it daily.

Where US 20 crosses State Road 2 in Rolling Prairie is unique. It's the only rural intersection in Indiana left where two divided, four-lane highways meet at a traffic light.

Stacey Mccollister is a server at Jennie Rae's She has seen accidents right out the window, and her daily drive to work scares her.

"It is scary, and I have this big old pickup truck, and I drive that because I feel safer just because all of the accidents that you hear about." says Mccollister. "When the light turns yellow or red, yeah a lot of them just don't pay attention, and they just zip right on through."

A study by the Indiana State Police found that from May 2011 to December 2015, there were 80 crashes at the intersection causing 47 injuries.

Plans are under way to try and reduce those numbers.

The stoplight would be replaced with an overpass.

East-West traffic would travel under a bridge. Their travel would be unimpeded, continuing at 55 to 60 mph speeds.

North-south traffic would have to slow down to travel through two roundabouts.

"It's going to change the overall landscape and movement in that area," says Doug Moats, INDOT Northwest media relations director. "It's going to be an exciting piece of roadway equipment for our district. I think that it's going to move vehicles more efficiently. It's also going to increase the overall safety of the intersection and brings us up to date in that specific area."

For now, Mccollister will continue to take precaution.

"I have daughters who they like to come, and you know see me and eat dinner. I get scared for them. I tell them a lot of times not to come," says Mccollister.

The next step is to have the plan evaluated for environmental impact.

Then there will be public hearings where the community can provide input.

Construction is expected to begin, and be completed, in 2019.

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