Coweta County Commission

State, county eye safety of intersection

by Sarah Fay Campbell

Coweta County and the Georgia Department of Transportation are taking the first step to make safety improvements to the intersection of Ga. Hwy. 154 and Old. Hwy. 16 in Sharpsburg. Representatives from Coweta's transportation and engineering department recently met with officials from GDOT to discuss road projects, and they talked about the 154/Old 16 intersection.

"We have had numerous accidents [at that intersection]," Coweta County Administrator Michael Fouts told the county commissioners at their meeting on Tuesday. In April, one accident resulted in a fatality.

The intersection is at East Coweta High School near the limits of the town of Sharpsburg. The major safety issue is that the three-legged intersection looks like a three-way stop — but it is not. Traffic coming from Sharpsburg, westbound on Hwy. 154, does not have to stop.

The state, Coweta, and the city of Newnan have embarked on several intersection improvement projects in the past few years, and the Hwy. 154/Old 16 intersection is considered by many to be among the most dangerous remaining.

In the April incident, a driver stopped on Hwy. 154 next to East Coweta High and started to turn left, failing to yield to a westbound pickup truck.

"Several alternatives were discussed," said Fouts. Those included operational changes and reconfiguration of the intersection. GDOT "does have funds available for a safety improvement," he said.

The first step is surveying the intersection. On Tuesday, the commissioners voted to move forward with having Christopher Brothers Land Surveying do the work for a cost of $4,800.

"I've had a couple of calls where people are really concerned about the safety of that intersection," said Commissioner Tim Lassetter.

"How quickly could a stop sign be put up there?" asked Chairman Bob Blackburn.

That was something discussed, Fouts said. But first GDOT wants to "know how much right-of-way would be needed for the intersection improvement."

GDOT has been resistant to the idea of adding the stop sign for traffic coming westbound on Hwy. 154 and making the intersection a three-way stop.

"They want to keep traffic moving," Fouts said following Tuesday's meeting.

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