Fayette County has heard the complaints about the revamped intersection of SR 92 and Westbridge Road and they are doing everything in their power to rectify the situation.
The intersection has been in the crosshairs since Veterans Parkway was completed, over the summer, and connected to Westbridge Road. The connection has funneled added volume to the area and created lengthy delays waiting to cross over SR 92.
On the day the county celebrated the completion of the road project, Commissioner Charles Rousseau, who represents the district that contains the intersection, promised that he is dedicated to making it work for the community at the busy crossroads.
“I’m glad that it’s finished, but we still have some work to do,” he said.
The concerns of neighborhood residents are coming to fruition, said Rousseau when reached for comment. The removal of the right-hand turn lane westbound off of Westbridge onto SR 92 has proved problematic.
“The new configuration has motorists backing up on Westbridge, causing extensive delays getting across and or thru the intersection safely,” he said. “Without some kind of traffic device or the return of the turn lane, I’m fearful we’ll see an increase in accidents.”
Public Works Director Phil Mallon assures the public that the county is doing everything in their power to move safety measures forward. While, the Board of Commissioners was able to fast track safety measures at the intersection of Antioch and Goza because both are county roads, they are at the mercy of GDOT in this case because a state road is involved.
The county has already gotten the ball rolling working with a consultant on a traffic study to determine if the traffic count at the intersection warrants a light by GDOT criteria.
“Once they get that report then hopefully we will be talking with them about what the upgraded intersection may look like,” said Mallon.
Even conducting the traffic study was a proactive measure by the county.
“GDOT recognizes this is their intersection ultimately, and they were willing to do a traffic study, but we, Fayette County, decided to go ahead and take the lead on it just in order to accelerate it by several weeks,” said Mallon. “That’s an example of us doing what we can to try to move it along.”
Mallon noted that, while he has heard many suggestions such as rumble strips, he does not see any viable short-term solutions.
“I’m not aware of any short term fixes we can do,” he said. “We can look at (rumble strips) but right now I don’t think the problem with that intersection is people being aware of the stop, I think it’s the heavy volume on 92.”
He said that a traffic signal has always been the end game.
“What I hope we can do is get authorization for a traffic signal,” he said. “That’s how that whole intersection was designed. It easily expands to accommodate a signal.”
Mallon said that he cannot put a timetable on the project, as that will depend on GDOT. If they say they will work with the county and share costs, timing will again be at their mercy. If they approve a signal but say the county must foot the bill, then county staff will have more say in the schedule.
“The decision is ultimately out of our hands.”