I-69 ‘exit only’ lanes at Illinois Road interchange creating potentially dangerous traffic situation

Local News

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) A project to improve the Illinois Road/State Road 14 interchange on I-69 in Fort Wayne has unintentionally created a potentially dangerous situation for motorists according to the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT).

Because of the work, the right lane in both directions of I-69 is currently set up to be an Exit Only Lane. The middle and left lanes of I-69 shift toward the median and continue as two lanes.

The danger is created when traffic stays in the right lane and tries to merge into the through lanes at the last moment.

“People aren’t necessarily paying attention to the signs and the barrels and are making lane changes at the last minute creating some potentially dangerous situation out there,” said Hunter Petroviak, the Communications Director for INDOT’s Northeast district.

There have been a few accidents and some close calls in the area because of the dangerous lane changing. Signs placed well in advance of the lane shift are posted in both directions of the interstate.

“There’s ample signage to show you what the lane is going to do with that exit and what the speed limit should be,” said Petroviak.

Petroviak said the best thing drivers can do is slow down.

“It seems inconvenient to slow down and have to deal with all those restrictions that are in place, but it’s shown that really only adds about a minute or two to your travel time,” said Petroviak. “So, really slowing down and adding a minute or two is worth the safety for everybody in the long run.”

The current traffic setup is expected to be in place into the beginning of September. At that time traffic flow is expected to return to normal.

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