Amid snow, officials urging drivers to be extra cautious around broken stoplights

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SOUTH BEND, Ind., --- Several traffic lights are broken around the downtown South bend area and they’ve been temporarily replaced with four way stop signs. With more snow expected over the next few days, officials are reminding drivers to be extra cautious especially in those areas.

“I come this way every day,” said Rozelle Newbill, a driver in the area. “You have to pay attention you have to be alert,” said

Newbill said he’s extra cautious when he drives by LaSalle Avenue and Hill Street daily.

It’s one of several intersections around the downtown area that now have four way stop signs because of broken traffic lights.

“We had accidents that knocked the poles down and because of supply chain issues those poles take about and they’re specific to that intersection,” said South Bend’s Public Works Director Eric Horvath.

The new four-way stops are at a few intersections including Colfax Avenue and Charles Martin Senior Drive as well as flashing stop signs on LaSalle Avenue and Hill Street.

Just a block away at LaSalle and Niles Avenue officials said the light isn’t broken, but they also turned it into a four stop to prepare drivers for the next four-way stop.

“I'm fine with it. It is what it is. You just got to take caution, watch where you’re going. They say stop you stop,” said Mattie Crumbley, another driver in the area.

 “We try and light them up and put stop signs so people can see them and also flashers on there but again if you’re used to going that way and used to seeing the traffic light now you’ve got a stop sign,” added Horvath. “We’re trying to make it as visible as possible, but we ask people just to slow down and be respectful of that,”

Horvath doesn’t believe the temporary stop signs will be a problem, but he is reminding drivers to extra cautious in those areas and in general especially with plows out clearing snow on the roads.

 “We ask that people are patient with them and don’t crowd the plow…you do need to slow down when it becomes slick. So, we just ask people to be thinking about that as they go out,” he said.

“This is nothing new under the sun and you always got to look out for the other guys,” added Newbill.

As a reminder, a flashing stoplight acts as a stop sign.

Horvath said they are working to get the lights fixed as soon as possible, despite supply chain issues creating delays.

He also said over the next few days crews will be working around the clock to get the roads cleared. They will hit the main roads first and then make their way to residential areas.

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