FREE ACCESS: GCSD asks motorists to follow SR54 detour near Ridgeport

Friday, June 14, 2019

The Greene County Sheriff’s Department is urging motorists to follow the official detour around State Road 54 near Ridgeport.

The Indiana Department of Transportation announced an emergency closure on State Road 54 near the Ridgeport Community east of Bloomfield, at Crowe Road, on June 4 due to complications from a slide.

In Friday’s news release, GCSD reminded motorists that all non-local traffic needs to follow the official detour using US 231, Interstate 69, State Road 45 and State Road 54.

“Several complaints of excessive speed, vehicles leaving the roadway, driving through local residents’ yards and unsafe operation of motor vehicles have been reported,” the news release states.

“Several incidents of vehicle operators moving the road closure signs have been reported. As a reminder, local farmers are still operating large, slow-moving equipment on these roads.”

GCSD stated they will enforce all local and state traffic laws in the area.

“The Greene County Sheriff’s Department asks motorists to follow the detour, slow down and be mindful when traveling the rural gravel roadways,” the release says.

At the time of the closure on June 4, INDOT stated as a precaution, engineering and support staff at INDOT had recommended a road closure in the area to begin immediately and to stay in place until a project to correct the slide begins.

The slide correction project is scheduled for letting in September.

During the closure, local traffic will have access up to the point of closure. All other traffic will need to follow the official detour using U.S. 231, I-69, S.R. 45 and S.R. 54.

As of Friday, INDOT Southwest District Communications Director Jason Tiller reported the closure will remain in place.

“We have looked at a few different options, including a temporary signal to at least partially open the road, however, the recommendation of our engineering staff is to keep the road closed at this time due to challenges with the terrain. Temporary signals would be difficult because the road is so curvy and the technology to remedy that is relatively new and we’ve been given to understand there have been challenges with it in places where they’ve been used,” Tiller reported.

“Our team is working to accelerate this project and get it to letting sooner, but there are a lot of factors that will play into that. At this time, I’m unable to speculate on when/if that will be able to happen. This project will most likely require a full closure, so we’re potentially looking at a road closed until the slide is completely corrected, but it’s extremely likely that the road will be closed until the project has been awarded.”

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  • i say everyone that lives on the roads that everyone is using for the detour keep calling INDOT day and night till they fix it!!!

    it would take less than week to fix it....

    don't let INDOT off the hook...

    -- Posted by ghitch75 on Fri, Jun 14, 2019, at 4:39 PM
  • another idea INDOT put the wireless traffic lights like you have at 54 and 58 where you are working on the bridge!!!!!

    you have one good lane!!!!

    use your heads!!!!

    -- Posted by ghitch75 on Fri, Jun 14, 2019, at 4:47 PM
  • West bound lane is also deemed unstable.

    The plans call for a bridge to be built.

    -- Posted by jwhaley88 on Fri, Jun 14, 2019, at 9:38 PM
  • I came to Linton from Louisville last weekend (as I do regularly to take my 80 year old dad to his VA appointments). I had a bad experience getting to my parents house due to the road shutdown. I am sure many others did as well but aren't taking the time to share their experiences. Many cars were having to turn around that night and find their own way out. My sister saw this article and sent it to me after knowing what I went through last week. I feel compelled to write in hopes that a little more due diligence can be done to make travel safe and not so frustrating.

    I was exactly 25 miles from Linton and it was about 9:30 p.m. when I saw the road block. It was dark and I did not see any signs pointing me to detour so I called my parents and they were not aware of the shutdown at all. I turned around and tried to re-route with my GPS but it only wanted to send me back to Hwy. 54 (even with Waze). I drove back quite a ways looking for a detour sign but I saw nothing around. It was dark and I didn't see any gas stations at this point to get directions so against my better judgment, I literally stopped someone and asked for directions. He sent me down what I consider a very narrow path of back roads for "TWO" miles but no signs leading me out of this spiral maze of darkness and not so great roads. I had been driving a while and starting to get a little nervous because I am thinking what if I get a flat tire or something back here. I frantically start calling my parents and my sister but no service with my fancy phone or great Verizon plan. How am I going to get out of these winding roads? Now it's time to pray. I seriously had no idea how to get out of this situation and get to my destination. It was now 10 p.m. and I am still driving what felt like forever. I also felt like I was driving in circles down this long country road. Finally I see headlights. YES! Now I am welcoming having to stop someone for help. I flashed my lights, I came to a complete stop hoping this person stops but his little white truck drives past. But then, he slows, he stops and reverses his truck to my car. I double check my doors are locked and slightly lower my window to tell him my plight and ask for help. He starts giving me directions but it would be another "TWO" miles (oh my gosh). I think he saw the worry on my face and said, "I'm going to turn my truck around and take you where you need to go, just follow me." I was SO happy. My Angel arrived and I told him so.

    I have to come to Linton again to take my dad to his next treatment in Indy but obviously I will have a different path next time. I am asking that INDOT please take the time to put appropriate signage not only lighted for those who must drive at night but signage to CLEARLY direct someone out of the MAZE and back to Hwy. 54. Thank you for listening!

    -- Posted by MarciTheMortgageMom on Sat, Jun 15, 2019, at 10:01 AM
    Response by Sabrina Stockrahm, Editor, Greene County Daily World:
    Oh my goodness! I'm so glad someone stopped to help you. I'll forward your comment on to my contact at INDOT.
  • MarciTheMortgageMom, bless your heart those road's are very dark and windy I am sure you were scared I'm glad you came across the kind fellow to even say follow me that was awesome.

    Now I want to ask something... I realize with all the smart technology available most people don't take the time to read maps any more... Well I think it would be a good idea if you are traveling in Eastern Greene to pack a map! It's a well known thing! Cellular service is obsolete!!! All cell service Att Verizon.... It's the hills and hollows Even for first responders! My husband use to work over there, before he'd go into a place named Lawrence Hollow he called it in to the gcsd! It isn't safe! please learn to read a map

    -- Posted by Common sense... on Sat, Jun 15, 2019, at 9:08 PM
  • Common sense,

    My sister just gave me one and pretty much said the same thing. I did away with my mapsco years ago with new technology but after this, I am open to it again. Very good advice AND if that was the area I was in - all the more reason for INDOT to do their job and make sure people are safe!! That’s just good common courtesy and good common sense. Thanks again!

    -- Posted by MarciTheMortgageMom on Sat, Jun 15, 2019, at 10:55 PM
  • bridge????..that makes no sense......why not just rip rap?......that fixes everything for INDOT....

    -- Posted by ghitch75 on Sun, Jun 16, 2019, at 10:44 AM
  • I got lost in those same hills one day taking a detour around a wreck on my way home from work. I found a good samaritan who lead me out, too. It was daylight but it made me a nervous wreck.

    -- Posted by kmullikin on Mon, Jun 17, 2019, at 12:37 PM
  • Common Sense,

    Cell service is obsolete? I have better cell service then most other areas. There is several at&t and Verizon towers on the east side of the county. And being a 1st responder I don't have any problems finding my way around on the east side of the county along with most other 1st responders. And before you start saying that Lawrence Hollow isn't safe you might want to check other county stats. There is more violence in other parts of the county then Lawrence Hollow. I have spent several years as a LEO and on the Fire Department. Lawrence Hollow has their problems but so does the rest of the county.

    -- Posted by beth21055 on Mon, Jun 17, 2019, at 3:33 PM
  • As the article clearly states if you took the approved detour you wouldn’t have to worry about it. It is clearly marked and easy to follow. Recent storms have made the situation worse, both flooding and a tornado. Please stick to the official route and keep everyone safe

    -- Posted by benprice30 on Mon, Jun 17, 2019, at 5:56 PM
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