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Stimulus money to fund project
Officials hope roundabout will help traffic flow better

COVINGTON - Construction of a roundabout planned for the intersection of Turner Lake Road and Clark Street will be entirely funded through federal stimulus money, Covington Mayor Kim Carter has announced.

Carter got the news at a recent meeting with representatives from the Georgia Department of Transportation, who said up to $900,000 in stimulus money was available.

"That should cover the entire cost of the project," Carter said.

"We were totally surprised," she added.

The project is expected to be put to bid in December, with construction to begin in late winter or early spring.

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 and accidents at intersections.

"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 tends to be less accidents, as well, plus it will provide a nice entrance for Turner Lake Park," Castranova said in a previous interview.

The project includes an underground pedestrian tunnel running 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," City Manager Steve Horton previously told the Citizen.