FOX19 Investigates: Increased accidents on I-75 - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

FOX19 Investigates: Increased accidents on I-75

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ST. BERNARD, OH (FOX19) -

Construction on Interstate 75 near Mitchell Avenue began in 2011, but as the construction continues and lanes are shifted to complete parts of the project, officials are seeing the number of accidents in the area on the rise.

From August 1st to present day, the St. Bernard Police Department has responded to 70 accidents on the stretch of I-75 south where one lane splits off.

In that same seven month period of time the year before, the department only responded to 20 accidents.

"So people are just panicking," said Lt. Michael Simos, St. Bernard Police Department. "There's plenty of signage, plenty of lights, so inexplicably, people just can't seem to handle that."

Despite warning signs that one lane splits off, accident after accident continues to clog up one of Cincinnati's main arteries into downtown.

"Several have been serious accidents up there, but no fatals, thank the Lord," Lt. Simos added.

There have been so many accidents, the Ohio Department of Transportation has had to replace the barrier just before the split multiple times.

"Upwards of 10," Lt. Simos estimated. "And those are like $15,000 a pop."

Drivers across the Tri-State are familiar with the infamous split.

"That split is really disconcerting," said Marilyn Hyland, a Cincinnati resident. "And with the Hopple Street construction starting, it's backing up more and more and it's so bad you almost choose to avoid the stretch of 75 all together."

Lt. Simos and many drivers agreed that additional warning may help alleviate the issues.

"I think that it happens really quickly and people are bombing along," Hyland explained. "I think there needs to be more advanced warning, flashing lights, or things to say this is a big deal here, and it's dangerous if you don't slow down."

Lt. Simos said that while the front barrier takes on a lot of those accidents, the St. Bernard Police Department responds to incidents through the entire stretch of construction.

The Mitchell Avenue interchange is scheduled to be completed by September of 2014.

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