Warner Robins’ first roundabouts gaining traction

chwright@macon.comFebruary 14, 2013 

WARNER ROBINS -- City officials say roundabouts on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard are imminent.

Jim Elliott, city attorney, said after spending a year to obtain the needed permissions for the project, construction of the two roundabouts should begin soon.

Last year, Elliott said he hoped the right-of-way process would be complete by spring 2012. It’s taken nearly a year to navigate the extensive procedures for the property owners, he said recently.

“They’re four big organizations,” with several layers of management, he said.

Ultimately, he navigated through the Air Force, the Board of Regents, the Catholic diocese and the Houston County Board of Education for permission to build two roundabouts along the street that runs between Ga. 247 and South Davis Drive behind Macon State College near Sacred Heart Catholic Church.

Elliott said the city has the deeds from the church and the school board and is awaiting the same from the last two.

“Board of Regents have approved, but we don’t yet have a deed in hand,” Elliott wrote in an e-mail. The Air Force has signed and approved the measure but not the senior lien holder, “who says they have no objection but simply haven’t signed.”

Walter Gray, city engineer, said one roundabout would be placed at University Boulevard with possibly four legs and the other at Wellborn Road with three legs.

The project is one of a few left from the 2001 special purpose local option sales tax. The roundabouts were added to a SPLOST project meant to add sidewalks, curbs and lighting to the street, which is in an area the city has targeted for redevelopment.

Gray wrote in an e-mail the Wellborn Road roundabout will be built first. City Council approved a $289,000 bid from Georgia Asphalt, Inc. last week for that traffic circle. The current intersection of the road with Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard is confusing, and it’s unclear which road goes in which direction.

The University Boulevard roundabout will cost about $282,000, according to Gray. If a road leading to nearby Sacred Heart Catholic Church is added, it would cost an additional $51,000.

The actual costs are below the $729,000 Gray estimated last year for both circles without the road to Sacred Heart.

Gray said last year the traffic circles are being placed in a low-traffic area of town to ease residents into the idea. “We’re doing it simple on purpose to get people used to them,” he said.

To contact writer Christina M. Wright, call 256-9685.

View Warner Robins first roundabouts in a larger map

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