Fayette County has their plan to fix the dangerous intersection at Antioch and Goza. At Thursday night’s Board of Commissioners meeting a roundabout was unanimously approved.
Calling them both viable, long term solutions, Allen Krivsky with Heath & Lineback Engineers presented to the board what their analysis determined would be the two best options, a four-way stop or a standard roundabout. Either choice would be able to hold up well against projected growth in the area through 2040.
“Each solution offers very much improved safety and improved operation,” said Krivsky.
Krivsky laid out the pros and cons for both choices. The all-way stop would be the cheaper of the two, also with a shorter construction time frame and more familiarity from drivers. A roundabout reduces the severity of crashes and wait times in comparison to a four-way stop to help offset the higher cost and longer timeline of construction. The stop would also likely require adding left turn lanes, which would be removed in the proposed setup, in eight to ten years as growth dictates.
Krivsky said that a stop would not be warranted based on the amount of traffic that travels through the intersection on a normal basis.
As the projects are just at the conceptual stage, cost estimates are rough, but Krivsky pegged the four-way stop at $409,000 and the roundabout at $1.03 million.
At previous meetings, it had also been considered whether or not the small hill on Antioch could play a role in the number of crashes. Krivsky noted that it would cost an estimated $500,000 to shave about three feet of height off of the hill.
Area resident Mike Sanderson expressed his support for the roundabout.
“If we’re looking towards the future, that situation is only going to get worse,” he said, adding that he believed a roundabout was the best way to slow down speeding drivers. “We need to save lives. I hear sirens too often.”
Adam Humboldt shared his support for a roundabout, putting a face to the difference in cost between the two options. Not even quantifying a families anguish, the medical bills run up for a recent serious wreck at the intersection likely rival the difference in cost between a four-way stop and the safer roundabout option.
“I’m wondering actually what the medical dollar cost is to fix that person because it’s probably approaching that four to five hundred thousand range.”
Commissioner Steve Brown agreed that added safety would be worth the higher price tag.
“I’ve always thought a roundabout was the way to go on this thing. It’s a good longterm solution,” he said, noting that while the intersection doesn’t have the most accidents in sheer numbers, the wrecks there tend to be more severe. “If you’ve got a chance to do it right, do it right.”
The commissioners unanimously approved proceeding with the roundabout concept. Moneys for the project are already budgeted from SPLOST funds.
Saying the engineers fully understand the critical nature of the project, Krivsky assured the design of the roundabout will be ready within four months. It will be roughly 18 months for the roundabout to be complete and operational.