In case you missed it, word came out last week of an early Christmas present for some of Columbia County’s more beleaguered motorists:
Not only is the county preparing to end the perpetual bottleneck along Washington Road west of Gibbs Road, but the awful intersection of Lewiston Road and William Few Parkway is scheduled for improvements that could include a traffic signal.
Traffic lights are funny things: They’re frequently demanded at dangerous intersections, yet cursed by motorists stuck at them.
Residents have been screaming for a traffic signal for years at the Blanchard Road-Washington Road intersection. Despite the upcoming, $26 million widening project set for this year, that light still isn’t assured. The state Department of Transportation still disagrees that it’s needed.
The William Few-Lewiston Road junction is a little different. The DOT hasn’t yet agreed on the need for a signal there, either, but might be inclined to allow Columbia County to install one.
“Columbia County is conducting an engineering study for this location, and as part of the study they are evaluating it for possibly signalization,” writes DOT spokesperson Cissy McNure in an email. “Whatever improvements are deemed necessary based upon the study will be implemented by the county.”
That’s great news, especially for motorists who daily are backed up around that intersection. But what bumps it higher up on the list for a signal than the older Blanchard Road-Washington Road junction?
Chalk it up to the fact that, in recent months, William Few Parkway – already running past Grovetown High School and Baker Place Elementary – also has added a Georgia State Patrol Post and the county’s new Animal Care and Control and Health Department facilities.
That means it hasn’t just been residents clamoring for a light; it’s been government workers who increasingly use the intersection, including some from the Health Department recently involved in a crash there. State patrolmen also have been complaining about the lack of a light.
With plans in the works for the new Columbia Middle School on William Few, the need for a light at Lewiston will only continue to grow. If all that clamoring also would result in a light at Blanchard and Washington roads, motorists will be the winners.