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Intersection red light given final approval

COVINGTON - A traffic signal recently installed at Turner Lake Road and Washington Street/Ga. Highway 81 will soon be activated, and city officials hope it will improve the safety of motorists.

Beginning Thursday, the traffic signal will be activated in flash mode. The signal will flash yellow for motorists traveling on Ga. Highway 81 and red for motorists on Turner Lake Road. The signal will become fully operational on July 15.

City officials asked the Georgia Department of Transportation about two years ago to study the intersection to see if it would warrant the installation of a traffic light. The DOT conducted a traffic light warrant study and determined one was needed.

"Our request was made of GDOT based on various informal complaints of near-miss accidents at the intersection," City Manager Steve Horton said.

The DOT is providing all of the equipment and material for the traffic light, with the city covering labor costs, Horton said.

The light should help with traffic backup that occurs at peak times on Turner Lake Road and will be important later this year when a roundabout is constructed at Turner Lake Road and Clark Street, Public Services Director Bill Meecham previously told the mayor and council.

The roundabout may go out to bid in September, with construction to begin within 60 days of the bid date, Horton said.

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