The Georgia Department of Transportation will be milling down and resurfacing the part of Highway 36 that runs through Covington, including the section around the square. In preparation for that milling, the city must lower its manholes and water and gas valves.
The city council approved a $30,810 bid from DeKalb Pipeline Co. to lower 28 manholes and 34 valves prior to construction and to raise those manholes and valves back after GDOT’s construction is finished.
Transportation Manager Billy Skinner said that the DeKalb Pipeline will start its construction on Monday or Tuesday and the lowering is expected to take about nine days. Skinner said the work will take place mostly at intersections and traffic will be able to go around the construction; no streets will be blocked.
He said he didn’t yet know when the state would start its construction, but it will be around the end of July; the state will have its own detour plans.
In other street news, the stoplight at the intersection of Washington Street/Ga. Highway 81 and Turner Lake Road is now flashing. It will continue to operate as a normal flashing light until Tuesday, when it will go live.
City Manager Steve Horton said previously that the light was constructed to prevent the 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, Horton said. Left turns onto Turner Lake Road also led to problems.
Also, in September the city will bid out 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. The bid is expected to be around $900,000, but a state grant will pay for $175,000 of the project, with the special project local option sales tax paying for the rest.