The Dawson County Board of Commissioners and Georgia Department of Transportation will hold two public hearings to gather input on closing off crossover traffic between Beartooth Parkway and Industrial Park Road on Ga. 400.
The first hearing was held on July 8 in the community room at the Ga. 400 branch of United Community Bank. The second hearing will be July 10 at the Rock Creek Sports Complex community room and will begin at 6pm.
Officials consider the intersection to be one of the most dangerous in Dawson County. Six reported incidents have occurred since the beginning of the year at the crossover, according to sheriff's office spokesman Lt. Tony Wooten.
Wooten said six might seem like a low number of incidents to warrant changes to the intersection. "But sometimes people are more cautious at intersections when they know how dangerous they are," he said.
The idea to consider looking into closing the crossover was brought to the board's attention last year after the DOT determined lowering the speed along the congested corridor was not feasible.
While Dawson County Sheriff Billy Carlisle agreed speed is often a factor, he thinks the crossovers have been the biggest issues in relation to the number of incidents between Dawson Forest Road and Hwy. 53 in the past few years.
"Drivers bunch up in the medians waiting to go across and get impatient and block each other's view. Until we do away with the crossovers, we're not going to do away with the accidents," he said.
Dawson County Public Works Director David Headley said the information obtained from public comment during the two public hearings will act as a guide for the DOT to make improvements to the busy intersection.
"We're looking at a plan to install directional median which allows left turning traffic in both the 400 southbound and northbound lanes," he said.
"Drivers will still be able to turn left from both directions, but the directional median will deny crossover traffic," he said.
Both hearings are open to the public. For more information, contact Dawson County Public Works Director David Headley at (706) 344-3501, Ext. 227.
E-mail Michele Hester at firstname.lastname@example.org.