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Roundabout opening delayed

Photo by Howard Reed

Photo by Howard Reed

COVINGTON -- The roundabout at Turner Lake Road and Clark Street was set to open next week, but that has been delayed because light fixtures that were ordered in August have yet to arrive, according city of Covington Transportation Manager Billy Skinner.

The Georgia Department of Transportation will not allow the roundabout to open without the lights in place due to safety concerns, Skinner said.

"The only thing we lack right now is basically the lighting for pedestrian safety for the walkers and the motorists. DOT will not let it open without those safety features in," he said.

Skinner said the manufacturer is at fault for the delay, noting the lights were ordered in plenty of time. The pedestals for the lights have arrived but have not been installed. The contractors have until the end of November to finish the project, so it's still on schedule, Skinner said.

Once it opens, the roundabout will be safe for school buses, fire trucks and other large vehicles to navigate, Skinner said. It is wide enough for an 18-wheeler to use, he said, noting that the roundabout features what's called a mountable curb or truck apron, a curb that is built for trucks to mount their back wheels on while making the turn without danger of flipping. School buses and fire trucks should be small enough to turn without having to use the truck apron, he said. The fire department's largest truck has already made it around with no problems, he said.