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Local farmers concerned about proposed Oaktown intersections

Tuesday the Indiana Department of Transpiration presented their proposal to the community but local farmers are concerned it will affect their farm work and markets.

Posted: Mar. 16, 2018 6:24 PM
Updated: Mar. 16, 2018 7:14 PM

OAKTOWN, Ind. (WTHI)- Alissa Hoalt has been running the prairie acres farm market with her family her entire life.

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"This is a fourth generation family farm. I hope my kids will be able to take over one of these days," said Hoalt.

But this coming farm season they aren't only concerned with their crop yields. They are also concerned with the road right in front of their market.

"The tractors, the equipment, the wagons of melons that come across. The semis coming in and off the intersection. That's going to affect everybody," said Hoalt.

Tuesday the Indiana Department of Transpiration presented their proposal to the community. The agency plans to turn two intersections into median U-turns.

Jason Tiller with INDOT says they have been monitoring the area for years. Both intersections brought up for renovations (between Freelandville road and old U.S. 41) are within a mile of each other.

"It cuts in half the potential conflict points, particularly right angle crashes or t-bone crashes as they are commonly known," said Tiller.

This new intersection could present a challenge for farmers when moving crops or equipment. It’s also may cut off potential business from crossing the highway but INDOT hopes these changes will benefit everyone.

"We understand it does present a challenge to some of our heavier traffic. The tradeoff there is instead of looking at four lanes of traffic now, they'll only be looking at two so they don't have as much to worry about," said Tiller.

As for Hoalt, she just hopes no matter what happens that she will continue to do what she loves. Growing crops while working with her family.

"I was hoping things would get better, build the business up you know so my kids will have something to look forward to. Something to help pay for the college and cars you know, things that they need in life. That will all be taken away if we have to close everything down," said Hoalt.

INDOT says they are going to take all the comments from Tuesday into consideration. Construction for these new intersections could begin as early as spring 20-19.

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