Construction Confusion: Drivers bypass barricades, hundreds ticketed

Local News

Police in Angola have been giving tickets to drivers along a main stretch of road all summer because it’s closed to traffic, transformed into a construction zone.

Signs that read “Road Closed to Thru Traffic” are posted at every side street along E. Maumee St. / U.S. 20. east of the circle in downtown Angola.

“Drivers who do and try to skirt those barricades and get around are probably going to run into a steep drop-off in some areas,” Nichole Thomas from INDOT explained Friday.

The main drag has been stripped down to the dirt with crews working all summer and into the fall to get the road rebuilt.

The work has been throwing drivers of their routines.

“Certainly we ask if they don’t need to be behind the barricades at all that just avoid them and go another way,” Thomas added.

Despite the request, they are driving behind those signs in a big way. Indiana State Police confirmed to NewsChannel 15 more than 1,200 tickets and warnings have been given in the zone since July.

“I actually had a conversation with the Brooks construction manager and said when our customers get to your road closed signs, they’re concerned,” President and CEO of First Federal Savings Bank Scott Gruner said. “They’re afraid they’re going to get cited.”

Angola’s police chief told NewsChannel 15 Friday the focus of the tickets are those driving the length of the zone. Parents skipping the official detour to get kids to school on the other side of the work have been a big portion of the problem traffic. 

Customers of the businesses in the zone, like the bank that posted a sign on a barricade, are allowed to dip into the work area.

“We put that up to ensure them that they can get to the drive-up, it’s just a short distance away,” Gruner added. “It hasn’t caused an issue and it’s worked well for us.”

The work is expected to wrap up by the end of November. 

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