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Work completed on downtown roundabout

POSTED: November 20, 2013 4:00 a.m.
David Renner Dawson Community News/

Work on a roundabout at the intersection of Hwys. 53 and 9 is complete.

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Work to smooth the traffic flow around Dawsonville's downtown square is complete.

State transportation crews spent Thursday and Friday transforming the intersection of Hwys. 53 and 9 into a roundabout.

The change, which is also aimed at increasing safety, includes slowing vehicles at yield markers as they enter the square.

Dawson County Sheriff's Capt. Ray Goodie encouraged drivers to use caution maneuvering through the new-look intersection.

"Since it is a recent traffic change, everyone should remain alert in the area and cautious in order to avoid accidents," he said.

According to state Department of Transportation District Engineer Bayne Smith, a recent study of 23 intersections converted to roundabouts showed a "decrease in total crashes by 39 percent, a decrease in injury crashes of 76 percent and a dramatic 89 percent decrease in fatal crashes."

"A roundabout is simple to navigate, just be cautious and do what the signs and pavement markings tell you to do," he said.

Dawsonville Mayor James Grogan has noted that restructuring the roundabout is one of the first steps in the city's downtown revitalization plan. It likely will also allow for additional sidewalks.

"As it is now, cars are going so fast through town on [Hwy.] 53 that you can't cross the road," he said. "Drivers will have to yield to enter the roundabout, so traffic will be slowed down."

 

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