The City of Covington is constructing a traffic signal at the intersection of Washington Street and Turner Lake Road to prevent the numerous accidents and near-misses that have occurred over the years. Previously, drivers heading south on Turner Lake Road only had to yield at Washington Street, leading to dangerous rush hour situations when drivers would merge right or turn left, City Manager Steve Horton said. Left turns onto Turner Lake Road also led to problems.
When the construction is finished in mid-March, drivers will no longer be able to merge right onto Washington Street, they will have to make a right-hand turn at the light, Covington Transportation Manager Bill Skinner said. The island, which allows drivers to merge, is being torn out and a new island will be built to separate the turn lanes on Turner Lake Road and provide a safe zone for crossing pedestrians.
Once the light is operational, it will blink for the first two days to allow drivers to adjust to its presence. On the third day the light will go live. Covington will pay Brooks-Berry-Haynie and Associates, Inc. $53,000 for the labor and the Georgia Department of Transportation is covering the costs of materials.
The city is also in the planning process for the construction of a roundabout at the intersection of Turner Lake Road and Clark Street. Horton said a lot of accidents occur when drivers try to turn left onto Clark Street. Because roundabouts don’t allow for pedestrian crossings, an underground pedestrian tunnel will also be built. Covington will advertise the expected $900,000 bid around the middle of the year. A state grant will pay for $175,000 of the project, with the special project local option sales tax paying for the rest.
Covington is also starting a sidewalk rehabilitation project on Monday. Sidewalks will be repaired on the following streets: Church, Conyers, East, Emory, Floyd, Lee, Mill, Monticello and Washington and on Newton Drive and U.S. Highway 278. The city will also add handicap ramps where necessary. Covington will pay Curb Specialists of Conyers $44,743 to do the repairs and GDOT will pay the company $69,782. Construction is expected to be finished in two to three months.