Representatives from GDOT offered two designs for a roundabout — a circular road taking the place of a four-way stop — during an open house at Bill Arp Elementary School.
The designs were the result of a three-year study offering alternatives to “mitigate risk and improve operational efficiency of the intersection,” according to GDOT.
The consensus from those in attendance was both designs have positive and negative impacts.
Of the two designs, alternative plan A takes the intersection and moves it to the north of the property at Pray’s Mill Baptist Church at a 110-foot radius. A traffic light would be installed at Banks Mill Road, according to Lenor Bromberg with Kennedy Engineering.
She said that alternative plan B roundabout would have a 150-foot radius across the right of way and increase the project cost by 5 to 10 percent.
Plan B, she explained would require more right of way acquisition, but would minimize impact on homes near the intersection.
Bromberg explained that the project is still under environmental studies and designs, and it could be as long as four years before construction would start. Once begun, the project should take about 18 months to complete.
Josh Buice is pastor at Pray’s Mill Baptist Church, which faces Hwy. 5 and is sandwiched between Banks Mill and Pool roads. He said that “the designs would be beneficial either way because of the traffic problems we’ve incurred.”
“I don’t know which option will benefit us the most,” he said.
Either way, the church’s cemetery has been deemed historic by the state and will not be impacted, Bromberg said.
According to Douglas County Department of Transportation Director Randy Husley, the roundabout concept is the best choice for the area.
He said although traffic might slow, it would not stop.
He explained that the design would be much larger than the one currently in place at Hwy. 5 and 166 and would feature additional lanes and road alignments which would give drivers “a better solution for what has been a very troubling intersection for a long, long time.”
Public comments can be made until June 20 by visiting GDOT’s website at www.dot.ga.gov and click on information center. Select Douglas County and select project SR 5 at CR174/Dorset Shoals Rd and CR 198/Banks Mill Rd/Pool Rd. then click on comment.