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DOT encouraged to consider concerns
Ga. 400/Kilough crossing falls under states say
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Local officials want the state Department of Transportation to hear from residents before making any improvements at Ga. 400 and Kilough Church Road.

The Dawson County commission's Sept. 1 vote to send the DOT a letter followed several weeks of discussions about the crossing.

Earlier this summer, the DOT announced a plan that would limit left turns onto the highway from Kilough Church Road.

The DOT delayed the work after residents flooded county offices with calls questioning the project, which called for installing concrete medians and closing the crossing.

Commissioner Gary Pichon made the motion to send the letter, saying the DOT was more qualified to make decisions on the crossing.

"I know there are citizens that want us commissioners to voice some sort of objection to this," he said. "The problem is we have no jurisdiction on the matter and we have no data and we are not traffic engineers."

DOT District Engineer Todd McDuffie said changes at the crossing are aimed at improving safety.

"Traffic engineers have studied the intersection and determined that removing the option for motorists to turn left from Kilough Church Road or cross Ga. 400 will improve safety on both roadways," he said.

Billy Thurmond, director of Dawson County Emergency Services, said there have been several serious wrecks at the intersection, including nine over the past five years in which people were hospitalized.

The crossing is one of five along Ga. 400 in Dawson County deemed by the DOT to need improvements.