DOT says no to Bethany Road

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By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor

Despite repeated requests from Morgan County officials to put a traffic light at the intersection of Bethany Road and the 441 Bypass, the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) has ruled against it. Instead, GDOT is opting to move forward with constructing an “R-CUT” (Restricted Crossing U-Turn) at the intersection. According to Kyle Collins, District Two Communications Officer for GDOT, the intersection does not “warrant” a traffic light based on a traffic study conducted by the agency. “Traffic volumes continue to register well below the levels required to consider a stop and go traffic signal and the collision history did not meet signal warrants at any given consecutive 12 month interval for the 2 years evaluated,” explained Collins. “The Turning Movement Counts indicate a predominant right-turn movement from both approaches of Bethany Road. The southbound approach volumes are 68.8 percent and 68.4 percent of the total volume during the morning and evening peak hour, respectively. The northbound approach experiences a 62.1 percent right turn volume for the morning peak and a 34.7 percent during the evening peak…Based on the findings of this evaluation, it is concluded that a traffic signal is not warranted at this time. It is also concluded that the turning movements from both approaches of Bethany Road during peak times support the proposed R-Cut configuration. Consequently, Georgia Department of Transportation is moving forward with implementing the right-in/right-out access with mainline channelized left turns at the intersection,” said Collins. According to GDOT, RCUTs “are much less costly, have fewer impacts, and can be constructed in a fraction of the time.3 This makes an RCUT an attractive option as an interim design where an interchange may not be needed for many years.”

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