Ga. 22/Ga. 24 roundabout project "moving along"
EDITOR'S NOTE: This article has been updated to reflect that the Georgia Department of Transportation indeed plans to install solar lighting around the roundabout.
Roundabouts are sort of polarizing around Milledgeville.
Some people can't stand them, while others wish that we had way more of them.
Regardless, the Georgia Department of Transportation currently is "moving along" with its plans to build a new three-legged roundabout at the intersection of Ga. 22 East and Ga. 24 East. In local parlance, that's "the Sparta Highway" and "the Sandersville Highway."
For anyone who's extra bored right now and/or just really loves roundabouts and can't get enough of roundabouts, the DOT has an incredibly detailed online presentation, which can be viewed BY CLICKING HERE.
Or, if you want the DOT to know your personal opinion, you can fill out the official "public comments" survey BY CLICKING HERE.
Engineers currently are marking up utilities and performing other parts of the "preliminary design phase," according to County Manager Carlos Tobar, who has been a strong proponent of the 22/24 roundabout from the get-go.
"Personally, I love it," Tobar said. "But, I want to reiterate that this is not a local project. This is a project that GDOT has really been pushing hard for and thinks is necessary."
In other words, the only county tax dollars required for the project would be the cost of mowing and landscaping around the area.
"The improvement would consist of a single lane roundabout with an inscribed diameter of 150 feet, circulatory lane widths of 18 feet, and a 15-foot truck apron," according to the DOT.
Also in the works is "an 8-foot-wide path to accommodate pedestrians and bicycles."
So, what's the timetable? Well, according to DOT, the "preliminary engineering" already is underway. At some point in 2025 is when DOT plans to purchase any "right of way" property, while 2026 is the target date for construction. Here's a breakdown of the cost...
Also, according to the DOT:
"• A total number of 25 crashes have occurred at this intersection over a 9-year period.
• In 2015, 8 crashes occurred at the intersection.
• The intersection of SR 22 and SR 24 is skewed on a horizontal curve, which results in a lack of sight distance for drivers.
• Current traffic must traverse slip lanes and a left turn T-intersection."
Tobar says that roundabouts "aren't designed to cut down on the total number of accidents but rather the number of severe accidents." In other words, it's much more difficult to total your car if you have to slow down for a roundabout.
– Georgia DOT data
Not too long ago, the project appeared left for dead. A "letter of support" generally is required from a local county commission before the DOT moves forward with a project in that respective county.
"Generally" doesn't mean always, however.
The county commission in the summer of 2022 discussed whether or not to issue a "letter of support" for the project, with only Commissioner Henry Craig voting in favor. Commissioners Sammy Hall and Emily Davis led the charges against the roundabout, and their primary concern was the roughly $3,000 per year needed to provide lighting for the roundabout, a cost that would fall on the county.
The DOT later wrote a letter back to the county commission and agreed to install solar lighting around the roundabout.