Ga. DoT plans traffic light at BHS

Published 8:43 pm Tuesday, June 9, 2015


The Georgia Department of Transportation found a traffic light would be appropriate in front of the main entrance to Bainbridge High School after conducting a study. — Powell Cobb

Tuesday, Georgia Department of Transportation and City of Bainbridge officials confirmed that a traffic light will be installed at the main entrance of Bainbridge High School on Highway 84.

The plan is for the state-funded traffic signal to be installed during the month of July before the school years starts back up, according to City Manager Chris Hobby.

GDoT District 4 engineer Chad Hartley said all that was left to do was sign the paperwork.

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Hartley said GDoT conducted another study and traffic count and found that a light would be appropriate for the traffic situation.

“We work up to a signal,” Hartley said. “We extended the turn lane and saw that there were still wrecks. That turn lane helped, but [car accidents] were still happening.”

Last summer, GDoT raised the speed limit on Highway 84 from 55 to 65 mph from the west side of Thomasville to the east side of Bainbridge based on the results of a study in May 2014. This increase also affected the BHS school zone, making the limit 55 mph initially.

Decatur County Schools Superintendent Dr. Fred Rayfield and the Decatur County Board of Education approached the GDoT after the initial speed hike and requested three changes: extend the turning lane into the high school property, expand the school zone on both sides of the BHS property and reduce the schools zone’s speed back down to 45.

The GDoT complied with all three.

“We are very pleased that this safety feature will be added,” Rayfield said. “Many thanks to the city of Bainbridge, GDoT officials and Senator Dean Burke and Representative Darlene Taylor for their help in securing the project.”

Hartley said that GDoT was informed of about 30 rear-ending or similar small traffic incidents that were never reported to police, which led to furthering the talks for a traffic light.

Hobby said that a groundbreaking ceremony will take place June 30 at 11 a.m. at BHS.