The Indiana Dept. of Transportation gave an update on progress and plans for the Pendleton Pike Progress project that will affect much of Lawrence during a Jan. 19 Pendleton Pike Progress Public Meeting.
Pendleton Pike Progress is an Indiana Dept. of Transportation project along five miles of U.S. 36 between Interstate 465 and 65th Street. It is expected to focus on left turns to high-traffic areas, improving safety and traffic flow. A review of crash reports during a three-year span found multiple areas with crash rates and severity higher than the statewide average.
The project also includes intersection improvements at 56th Street. Local cross streets are expected to be realigned to make it easier for drivers to turn and see oncoming traffic. The project would also connect sidewalks in the area.
Luis Laracuente, district traffic engineer for INDOT, said the need for the project stems from the high and increasing number of car accidents along the corridor.
“This is a very busy corridor, and because of its current configuration, there are a lot of crashes, specifically at intersections, that result in serious injury,” Laracuente said. “Forty-five percent of the crashes are right-angle crashes. Half of those result in injury.”
The project will look specifically at the intersection of 56th Street and Pendleton Pike. Lawrence Police Dept. Chief Gary Woodruff said the intersection has a high number of pedestrians and right-angle crashes that tend to result in injury.
“When we do have the right-angle crashes, they can result in injury and, in several cases, fatalities,” Woodruff said. “Improvements along this stretch of road that can be made in a reasonable way will be a good thing. We’re here to listen and learn from residents.”
Pendleton Pike Progress is in the environmental and design stage. Construction is expected to begin no earlier than 2024 and last up to two years.