The Georgia Department of Transportation is planning an open house next week to allow the public a chance to view and comment on plans for a double roundabout at the intersection of Hwy. 9 and Dawson Forest Road.
The open house will take place from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 15 at Riverview Elementary School, located at 370 Dawson Forest Road.
GDOT is planning to replace two unsignalized intersections with two single-lane roundabouts.
The roundabouts have been in the works since at least 2011, when GDOT asked county officials to support improvements at the busy intersection.
Plans for two other roundabouts at Hwy. 183 were also communicated to the county around that time: A roundabout at Hwy. 53 and Elliott Family Parkway opened this spring, though work is still being done on the project, and roadwork on a roundabout at Hwy. 183 and Hwy. 52 has yet to get underway.
The Dawson Forest and Hwy. 9 roundabouts have been “fast tracked” due to the proximity to nearby schools, a fire station and a park, creating a need for greater safety in the area.
Maj. Greg Rowan with the Dawson County Sheriff’s Office said at a Board of Commissioners meeting in 2011 that the number of wrecks at the intersection doubled in 2010 when Riverview Elementary School opened.
According to GDOT’s website, roundabouts shall be considered as an alternative for all intersections that are being reconstructed, including those where a traffic signal is proposed.
The website states that at intersections where roundabouts have been installed to replace existing intersections, accidents of all types have been reduced by over 35 percent, and injury accidents have been reduced by over 60 percent.
On Feb. 1, the BOC voted to approve an agreement with GDOT that states Dawson County will be responsible for the payment of the energy cost to light the intersection following the completion of the project, which is estimated at under $3,000 a year.
The BOC currently pays for the energy on all the traffic signals and overhead lighting throughout unincorporated Dawson County.
The open house will be informal and the public is invited to attend at any time during the two-hour window.
A court reporter will be available to allow the public an opportunity to make verbal comments about the project. Written statements will also be accepted until May 29, 2018 and can be submitted to Eric Duff, State Environmental Administrator with GDOT at 600 West Peachtree Street, NW, 16th floor, Atlanta, Ga. 30308.