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July 10, 2014

City's traffic signal intersections get overhaul

MILLEDGEVILLE — The City of Milledgeville's traffic signals will be brand new equipped with the latest technology and pedestrian safety features by May 2015.

Currently, the upgrading of 18 intersections traversing the city on state Routes 22, 24, 29, 49 and 243 has a scheduled completion date of April 30 next year.

The project award for the signal changes is $2.8 million and includes signal upgrades, signal communication design, pedestrian facility improvements and signal coordination. That sum is 80 percent federal and 20 percent state funded.

According to the District 2 Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) office, the project was awarded to Moye Electric Company Inc. out of Dublin on Aug. 2, 2013.

The safety enhancement project is about 17 percent complete.

In GDOT's Project Justification Statement, the traffic signal upgrade program manager identified several Milledgeville intersections as “being deficient in traffic signal equipment and/or pedestrian accommodations.”

These deficiencies are improving to meet current design standards within the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices and the Americans with Disabilities Act requirements.

The city's traffic signal intersection upgrades will modernize signal and pedestrian equipment for cost-effective maintenance and communication capability and better accommodate pedestrian traffic.

The city's intersections are receiving the latest GDOT controller hardware and software platforms; fiber optic communication between intersections; energy saving LED signal heads; countdown pedestrian signals, ADA wheelchair ramps and crosswalk striping.

GDOT Project Manager Sue Anne Decker said some stairways at city intersections aren't wheelchair accessible. The project will install “switch back” ramps in certain locations.

“We'll make sure that anything we've provided for able bodied pedestrians is also accessible for those that aren't able,” Decker said.

Decker stressed that no historic stairways will be removed. They are being preserved as is.

Handrails will be added to existing intersection stairways.

Vehicles should progress around the city more efficiently with minimal stops also. Video detection systems for vehicles are part of the enhancements.

“Since we have a whole network downtown, the signals will be in communication with each other,” Decker said. “Even some of the signals not in the project will be brought into the communications wirelessly.”

The contractor won't remove any trees throughout the process, but there will be two parking spaces lost around Georgia College.

“It's not going to be devastating as far as any impact to trees or parking,” the GDOT project manager said.

Several city intersections have already been upgraded as part of Streetscape projects.

City Engineer Mark Patrick said Streetscape Phase 3 started Monday.

These street improvements cover one block of Hancock Street from Jefferson Street to Elbert Street and two blocks of Greene Street from Wayne Street to Elbert Street.

“That will be a pretty involved project for the next two months,” Patrick said.

This Streetscape phase will add sidewalk renovations and a new downtown entry feature.

The list of intersections within the GDOT work includes: SR 243 at W. Andrews Street; SR 243 at Vinson Highway; SR 29 at SR 49/W. Hancock Street; SR 22 at SR 24/Columbia Street; SR 22 at Wilkinson Street; SR 22 at Wayne Street; SR 49 at Clarke Street; SR 49 at Columbia Street; SR 29 BP at Allen Memorial Drive; SR 243 at Greene Street; SR 243 at Franklin Street; SR 243 at Wilkinson Street; Greene Street at Wayne Street; Greene Street at Wilkinson Street; McIntosh Street at Wayne Street; McIntosh Street at Wilkinson Street; SR 24 (Montgomery Street) at SR 243 (Clark Street); and SR 49 (E. Hancock Street) at Elbert Street.

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