BAINBRIDGE, Ga. – The Georgia Department of Transportation continues to bring safety enhancements to state roadways with two projects in Bainbridge that will benefit high school traffic and drivers who travel the state Route 97 Connector at SR 97.
The projects join the list of more than two dozen Quick Response Projects the Georgia DOT has completed in the southwest part of the state. The streamlined projects typically cost less than $200,000. They are identified by Georgia DOT engineers or city and county staff and are managed through the Office of Local Grants.
Oxford Construction Co. of Albany is the contractor for both Bainbridge projects. Construction started Thursday on the extension of the deceleration/right turn lane at the westernmost entrance of Bainbridge High School on U.S. 84/SR 38 East. That is the entrance utilized by students and the most heavily used driveway. The construction cost is $72,201.70 and the work is expected to be finished in mid to late November.
Construction will start Monday on the second project, the realignment of the SR 97 Connector at SR 97. It is expected to be complete in two or three weeks and the work will require a detour. The construction cost is $127,634.90.
Extending the deceleration/turn lane 200 feet at the high school will prevent vehicles from stacking up in the through lane of U.S. 84/SR 38 East, which will reduce the likelihood of rear-end collisions. Georgia DOT recently extended the school zone 350 feet to the west to accommodate the longer turn lane.
“The deceleration lane will help some of that congestion by the high school and it will be safer for the kids because they can get out of the lane of traffic,” Bainbridge Public Service Director Steve Winburn said.
A lot of drivers will be happy to see the realignment of the SR 97 Connector, Winburn said. Currently the Connector meets SR 97 in a “Y” shape. That means drivers traveling south on SR 97 who want to reach the Connector have to make a sharp and tight right turn that carries them into the oncoming lane of traffic, Winburn said. Many drivers opt instead to cut through the parking lot of a gas station/convenience store that sits in the triangle between the two roads, he said. Drivers going south on the Connector practically have to turn around in their seat in order to look to their left to see traffic approaching from the north on SR 97.
Oxford Construction Co. will realign the road so that it connects to SR 97 at a 90-degree angle, Georgia DOT Project Engineer Sadi Hasona said. The realignment will bring the Connector closer to the gas station. A striped island will delineate the lanes and rumble strips will be installed on the Connector near the stop bar. Stop signs will be installed on the left and right sides of the Connector for traffic traveling toward SR 97.
Construction will require a detour for Connector traffic. Northbound traffic will use SR 97. Traffic approaching from other directions will use U.S. 84/U.S. 27. Signs will direct drivers.
These are not the first Quick Response Projects in Bainbridge. A project was completed last year to improve the SR 97 Connector at U.S. 27 northbound on-ramp radius to enable left-turning truck traffic to more efficiently use the intersection. The construction cost of that project was $28,400.
The Georgia Department of Transportation is committed to providing a safe, seamless and sustainable transportation system that supports Georgia’s economy and is sensitive to both its citizens and its environment. Georgia is among the fastest growing states in the nation yet lags near the bottom in per capita spending on transportation. Additional transportation revenues are imperative to grow and sustain Georgia’s economic vitality and quality of life through the 21st Century. For more information on Georgia DOT, please visit www.dot.ga.gov or subscribe to our Press Release RSS feed. You may follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/GeorgiaDOT) and Twitter (http://twitter.com/gadeptoftrans).