Pumpkin Center residents can get a sneak peek Tuesday at a proposed traffic circle for an intersection near their homes.
The state Department of Transportation is considering building a roundabout at Appling-Harlem and Wrightsboro roads. DOT is holding an open house from 5-7 p.m. at Harlem High School so interested residents can see more details of the project, ask questions and comment on the proposal. No formal presentation will be given.
Roundabouts force motorists to make a right turn onto the circle and then another right turn off the circle and onto their street destination. DOT officials intend to present to the public such an option as a replacement for the four-way stop currently controlling traffic at the Pumpkin Center intersection.
If enough people protest a roundabout, officials said they might instead consider a traffic signal for the intersection.
During the past decade, there have been more than 60 vehicle crashes at that intersection and officials believe many of those wrecks could have been avoided with a roundabout.
The intersection had stop signs only on Wrightsboro Road until 2001, when the DOT responded to a petition and letter-writing drive and added stop signs on Appling-Harlem Road.
That campaign followed a Dec. 12, 2000, crash that claimed the life of a Harlem High School student.
If DOT decides to replace the four-way stop with a roundabout, the project could cost about $963,000 and could take as long as 18 months to build. Construction might start in July 2012.
By that time, DOT projects that an average of 10,600 vehicles will traverse that intersection each day. That is 700 more vehicles than currently travel through it.
Following the Tuesday meeting, more information will be available online at www.dot.ga.gov. Select "General Public," then "Public Involvement."
IF YOU GO
What: DOT open house to discuss roundabout in Pumpkin Center
Where: Harlem High School
When: 5-7 p.m. Tuesday
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