Pledging positive change as fast as possible, the Fayette County Board of Commissioners got the ball rolling Thursday night towards needed improvements at the intersection of Goza and Antioch Road. Two items tie together to get a consultant working to determine the best way to fix the dangerous intersection.
The items were not previously on the agenda, but were approved for last-minute placement on it as it pertains to public safety, and the board did not want to let it sit for two more weeks.
“Sometimes you’ve got items that need to be handled quickly,” said Chairman Eric Maxwell. “We turned it around about as quick as we could.
“I wish that I could wiggle my nose or tug on my ear or snap my fingers or throw some kind of County Commissioner dust on this project and put asphalt on the ground, but it takes longer than that,” said Maxwell, adding that it was his commitment to get the intersection addressed as fast as possible.
At the Aug. 24 meeting, after hearing from many residents troubled by the number of serious accidents at the intersection, the Board gave staff four clear action items: start evaluation and design for intersection improvements as quickly as possible, make interim safety improvements, request increased enforcement by the Sheriff’s Office, and designate it as a top transportation priority among 2017 SPLOST projects.
Interim safety improvements implemented by the county included larger 35 mph warning signs, more aggressive rumble strips, and flashing signs and flags.
Four companies with prior working relationships with the County were contacted to submit proposals, but two backed out from the selection process citing the aggressive schedule being sought. Between the two remaining, Heath & Lineback Engineers was chosen due to a censurably lower cost proposal of nearly 40 percent.
The consultant’s scope will focus on reviewing existing conditions and data, making interim safety recommendations beyond those already implemented, developing intersection concepts for BOC approval, and formulating a complete intersection design. The consultant can hit all four points within six months, excluding the time needed for county approval.
The Board unanimously approved two pieces to make it happen. First is the reallocation of $38,750 from the Ebenezer Church, Ebenezer, and Spear Road intersection project to Antioch and Goza. That combines with the $80,250 already budgeted in the FY 2018 budget. Second is the awarding of the contract to Heath & Lineback Engineers for $119,000.
“I want to assure people that live near Ebenezer Church, we’re not reducing the importance of their project,” said Director of Public Works Phil Mallon. “What we’re doing is borrowing money that we’ve approved for Fiscal Year 2018 so we can readjust and move this project forward on the schedule.”