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Traffic lights will soon disappear at River Road and Bradley Park with new roundabout

Do you know how to drive through a traffic circle?

The Washington State Department of Transportation explains how to safely navigate the multi-lane traffic circle, also known as a roundabout, at the intersection of Guide Meridian (SR 539) and Pole Road (SR 544).
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The Washington State Department of Transportation explains how to safely navigate the multi-lane traffic circle, also known as a roundabout, at the intersection of Guide Meridian (SR 539) and Pole Road (SR 544).

Traffic lights are set to disappear soon at River Road and Bradley Park Drive with another roundabout constructed at the busy intersection in Green Island Hills.

With 13 roundabouts scattered throughout the city, Columbus Council on Tuesday approved a contract for Southeastern Site Development to construct a roundabout for $4.5 million at the location which also includes the Cascade Drive intersection. The design is expected to make the intersection safer and reduce the more dangerous collisions and T-bones.

“We think this is going to ease the traffic congestion in that area and provide more safer passage for everybody in that intersection,” said Farhad AliFarhani, assistant director of engineering and traffic engineering manager for the Columbus Consolidated Government. “Remember, that intersection has at this time five roads coming into it. It’s very difficult to really maneuver with all the traffic signals. That’s why we thought a roundabout would be a good candidate.”

The modern roundabout is a type of circular intersection that reduces traffic congestion while improving safety. Traffic entering the intersection yields to vehicles on the circular roadway and provides a reduced speed environment. The Georgia Department of Transportation is using more roundabouts not only in Columbus but across the state as an alternative for newly constructed intersections.

From the beginning to the end, it will take about 18 months to complete the project, AliFarhani said. It is estimated to be finished by March 2020. “It won’t be that fast to put it up,” he said.

Once the circle is operational, the traffic lights will disappear in the intersection. “Once you get to the intersection, you don’t have to wait if nobody else is there,” he said. “You don’t have to wait for a red light to turn green before you go through.”

River Road, also known as State Route 219, is a popular route for heavy trucks and trailers. The intersection is designed to accommodate that type of traffic, the city engineer said. Counts recorded by the DOT show there are 14,500 vehicles traveling the stretch of highway daily at Bradley Park Drive, Cascade and River roads.

Other locations slated to get roundabouts include two along the Macon Road corridor. One will be at Macon Road and Lynch Road/Technology Parkway and a second at Spur 22 and Macon Road. A third roundabout is coming to Fort Benning, Brennan and Cusseta roads.

With the constant rush and many people trying to do more in less time, roundabouts will certainly slow down motorists going through these intersections while keeping other drivers safe.

If you’ve seen something that needs attention, give me a call at 706-571-8576.

The new roundabout in the Frank Martin Pedestrian Bridge Plaza has opened to traffic.

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