Drivers ignoring road closures on SR 64 in Francisco

Drivers ignoring road closures on SR 64 in Francisco
Published: Mar. 2, 2022 at 6:02 PM CST
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FRANCISCO, Ind. (WFIE) - Phase two of construction on State Road 64 in Francisco began Tuesday, but officials say drivers are ignoring road closure and detour signs.

The biggest issue was semi-trucks, which ignored road closure signs and were forced to make u-turns.

The streets of Francisco are too narrow for this, forcing trucks to turn into road signs and people’s yards when attempting to turn around.

Sergeant Todd Ringle with Indiana State Police says there were fewer cars turning around Wednesday than Tuesday, but people ignoring detours is still an issue.

“I’ve been here for about 45 minutes, I’ve already seen about 20 cars and trucks go around the barricades,” Sgt. Ringle said around 12:30 p.m. Wednesday. “I’ve seen one semi go around the barricade, and it took him about 15-20 minutes just to make that simple u-turn.”

Phase one of the project took place last year, with State Road 64 opening back up after it was finished.

Officials say drivers got used to the road being open again.

Now, the second of three phases has closed SR 64 once again.

“There’s quite a bit of work going on, it’s a very involved project,” Jason Tiller, the Communications Director for INDOT Southwest said. “Lots of things that have to be done — and done under complete closure. There is no way for traffic to safely pass during the project.”

Phase two includes tearing up the pavement down to the dirt and replacing it.

The project is scheduled to run through November. Officials say it took a while for people to start using detours during phase one as well.

“There’s a great detour locally if you are in a passenger car or a small truck, but if you’re in a semi, you have to utilize US 41, State Road 168 or I-69,” Ringle said.

“It’s imperative that they remember when it says ‘road closed ahead’ that you understand the road is actually closed ahead,” Tiller said.

There are closure signs posted at each of SR 64 where roads are closed, as well as every side street that feeds into SR 64.

Google and Apple Maps both automatically reroute drivers who are navigating with their services to the nearest detour.

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