City to improve Fourth Street crosswalks

Crosswalks on East Fourth Street near Cummins Seymour Engine Plant are about to become a little safer for pedestrians.

With employees crossing the busy corridor to access the company’s parking lot and students using the route to get to Seymour Middle School, safety is a major concern for city officials.

This week, workers will begin a project to improve and update pedestrian signals in the area. Temporary lane closures and flaggers may be necessary for up to two weeks.

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Several years ago, Cummins installed a push button signal as an added safety measure that allowed pedestrians to initiate a flashing light to stop traffic so they could cross.

But the signal is not an approved High-Intensity Activated Crosswalk beacon, or HAWK, system, said city engineer Bernie Hauersperger with FPBH Inc.

Seymour now is planning to add new signals at the crossings.

The new system will have better technology and eliminate the need for pedestrians to push a button to activate the crossing lights, Hauersperger said.

He hopes the HAWK pedestrian indicator signals can be utilized in other areas of the city.

The project was awarded to Dave O’Mara Contractor Inc. late last year for $83,265 but was delayed due to a supply issue with the poles needed for the signals.

Funding for the project is coming from money granted to Seymour through the city of Lawrenceburg’s casino revenue sharing program and the Seymour Redevelopment Commission.

Hauersperger said the signals are a good pedestrian solution for the next 10 years, but he believes the road will need attention sooner.

“The roadway is getting a lot of traffic and seems to be losing life quicker than others,” he said. “Long term, we probably need to start looking at full-depth and full-width upgrades on Fourth Street in a few more years. This is still eight to 10 years out to start such a major construction project.”