Georgia DOT has approved the concept report for intersection improvements at state route 81 and New Morn Drive offering new details about the future project. Construction is scheduled to accept bids in January 2022.
The intersection was previously converted to an all-way stop control in March 2018 following 52 crashes in a five-year period (2013–2017). The crashes included 21 injury crashes and 31 property damage only crashes.
After the installation of all-way stop control, the intersection has continued to experience crashes resulting in two injury crashes and three property damage only crashes in 2019. The predominant crash type are angle crashes, caused by the off-angle approaches from New Morn Drive to the intersection.
The project will install a new modern single-lane roundabout at the intersection. Roundabouts are a proven safety countermeasure that reduce the number of conflict points within an intersection and correct off-angle approaches.
Other alternatives that were evaluated, but not selected, included no-build (leaving the all-way stop control), converting the location to an offset-T intersection, or adding left-hand turn lanes. These alternatives were not selected because the single-lane roundabout provides a greater safety benefit cost ratio and greater reduction in crashes.
Right of way acquisition is scheduled to begin in January 2021. The project will need to acquire property from six parcels and no displacements are expected.
The estimated project cost is $3.1 million dollars funded through federal dollars. This includes the cost for preliminary engineering, right of way acquisition, and construction. Construction is expected to last 16 months.