Some Macon-Bibb County commissioners say they’re leery about supporting a potential roundabout project along a busy intersection in an area known as Seven Bridges in south Bibb County.
The Georgia Department of Transportation is asking the county to cover some costs related to a possible roundabout at the intersection of Ga. 11, Ga. 49, U.S. 41 and Houston Avenue. Before commissioners vote on the measure, several of them have said they want to have more of their questions answered about whether the county would be obligated to pay for some costs and if a roundabout would be feasible in that area.
The proposed resolution of support, which says Macon-Bibb would cover costs for lighting and enhanced landscaping if the roundabout is built, could head back for discussion in the commission’s Facilities and Engineering Committee meeting as early as next week. The County Commission voted Tuesday to table a vote on the measure.
A GDOT traffic study completed in March examined the area that also includes a six-lane divided highway and Ga. 247, which is the major artery connecting Macon with Robins Air Force Base. Other major roads around the intersection include Houston Road, Houston Avenue, Pio Nono Avenue and Broadway. The study concluded that a roundabout would be a cost efficient way to reduce the high rate of rear-end wrecks.
“I’m extremely leery of (whether a roundabout) is a safe workable solution to that intersection,” County Commissioner Mallory Jones said.
According to the study, between 2011 and 2015 there were seven traffic-related deaths and 70 rear-end accidents around that intersection. Any roundabout project would still need to be selected by GDOT before moving forward.
Commissioner Elaine Lucas said she favors further examination of the intersection but would like to see other options.
“What I’d really like to do is have some study done on it and hear back (from GDOT) before we express support for it,” said Lucas, who serves on the county’s pedestrian fatality board. “I’m not sure making it a roundabout is a solution. I think we should put in additional lighting where it’s needed as well as other calming devices that we can, that make sense in the area.”
Lucas said she expects GDOT to continue to seek Macon-Bibb’s input about that intersection.
“We’ll all sit down and see what’s the best way to address the situation,” she said. “Bottom line, it will be addressed and that’s the important thing.”
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