Seymour plans traffic flow study

City officials are planning to study two busy intersections to determine what, if any, changes need to be made to improve traffic flow and safety in Seymour.

On Thursday, the board of public works and safety authorized a traffic impact study be completed for the four-way intersection at Fourth and O’Brien streets and at Second Street and Community Drive. The cost of the studies will be around $20,000 total — $10,000 per intersection

City engineer Nathan Frey made the request for GAI Consultants of Scottsburg to conduct the studies. GAI also completed a feasibility study this year for the parks and recreation department to determine whether there is a need in Seymour for additional or expanded sports and recreation facilities.

The traffic studies will be done at peak hours from 7 to 10 a.m. and 2 to 5 p.m. for two consecutive weeks to determine how many vehicles go through the intersections, how long it takes to go through them, whether they are turning or going straight and how many wrecks have occurred at each, among other data.

“What we’re doing is trying to gather some traffic information to see how to improve those intersections. One, we want to improve safety, and two, reduce congestion at both sites,” Frey said.

Mayor Craig Luedeman said the information gathered from the Fourth and O’Brien intersection will help determine whether the city needs to invest in a traffic light there or if a roundabout would handle increased traffic.

Currently, it is a four-way stop marked by stop signs. The intersection is close to Cummins Seymour Engine Plant and its new technical center, Seymour Middle School, apartment complexes and a gas station, making it a busy and congested area for both vehicles and pedestrians.

There is a need for sidewalks along both streets, too.

“We’ve had some concerns with all the new construction traffic and all the new traffic that Cummins has created there,” Luedeman said. “We’ve got some complaints from people in that area that we really would like to look at.”

Luedeman said any fix will likely be costly, but there may be some financial resources available to help, including possible casino grant money from the city of Lawrenceburg and federal money through Indiana Department of Transportation.

“We think we have some potential funding narrowed down and hope to know by Monday if we can do some big rehab there,” he said. “That’s why we are wanting these studies to go through so that we have the numbers to back it up.”

The intersection at Second Street and Community Drive is being examined due to upgrades that will be made next year further west on Second Street and because of the number of students walking and driving to and from Seymour High School.

Options could include updating the traffic signal and intersection or creating a roundabout.

There may be a need for improved sidewalks and pedestrian crossings at that intersection, too.

The city will have a report on both intersections by the beginning of December, Frey said.

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January Rutherford is a reporter for The (Seymour) Tribune. She can be reached at jrutherford@tribtown.com or 812-523-7069.