Roundabout rescue?
City Manager: Construction could begin this summer

COVINGTON - Construction on the proposed roundabout at Turner Lake Road and Clark Street could get under way by July, according to City Manager Steve Horton.

The City Council approved additional engineering for the project at its regular meeting on March 17.

The additional work is needed for the design of an underground pedestrian tunnel, which will run from the Clark Street sidewalk across to Turner Lake Park, where it will tie into a multi-use trail system.

"It's purely a safety feature. People obviously could cross the road, but where traffic really never stops, it could be hazardous," Horton said.

URS Corp. will do the additional engineering for $15,000, funded through matching funds already committed by the city to the county for the multi-use trail project.

Once construction on the roundabout begins, the project will take between four to six months to complete, Horton said.

The estimated cost is $800,000, to be funded jointly by the city and the Georgia Department of Transportation.

City officials hope the roundabout will keep traffic flowing better than the current traffic light system in place.

According to Nick Castranova, project manager for URS Corporation, the project engineer, roundabouts can reduce wait time at intersections and reduce accidents.

"For a long time, there really weren't any. Now we're seeing them being used more - one, for aesthetics, and you don't have to stop. There's a little bit of time savings and there tend to be less accidents, as well, plus it will provide a nice entrance for Turner Lake Park," Castranova said in a previous interview.

Crystal Tatum can be reached at crystal.tatum@ newtoncitizen.com.