Police chief: no accidents caused by two-way traffic so far

Four-way stop signs have replaced street lights at some downtown Ottumwa intersections.

The conversion to two-way traffic in Ottumwa is complete. Crews repainted traffic markings on Second Street Monday and on Main Street Tuesday.

That means both those streets from Jefferson Street to Kitterman Avenue are now two-way traffic. The biggest concerns residents expressed about the conversion is that the change would cause more accidents downtown.

However, Ottumwa Police Chief Tom McAndrew said, thus far, there have been no accidents.

"We haven't seen any accidents yet, knock on wood, we haven't had any accidents," Chief McAndrew said. "It's gone really smooth. And no, we didn't have extra patrol down here. The first days, we kept an eye out, but I didn't have any officers come in extra or anything like that. We figured it would go pretty smooth and that's what's happened so far."

McAndrew encouraged drivers to be extra cautious while driving downtown to keep the area accident-free.

Next, some construction begins on Main Street the week after Memorial Day. During that project, Main Street will be completely closed from McPherson to Mclean for paving. Two-way traffic will begin on Second Street from McPherson to Mclean. That means eastbound traffic on Second will have to stop at Mclean and go a block north or south to continue.

This traffic change will only be temporary while the construction on Main Street is going on.