Oak Hill red light finally a reality

Photo by Stacy Berman

Photo by Stacy Berman

The long-awaited traffic signal at Oak Hill Road and Ga. Highway 212 is in place and will be fully operational at 10 a.m. Tuesday, May 24, according to the Georgia Department of Transportation.

The signal is currently flashing yellow to give motorists time to become familiar with it before it is activated.

County officials have called the intersection one of the most dangerous in the county. A total of 74 collisions were reported either near or at the intersection from 2005 to 2009, according to Georgia Department of Transportation spokeswoman Cissy McNure. Of those, 49 were accidents that potentially could have been avoided with a traffic signal in place, McNure said.

Rev. Ronny Brannen of Prospect United Methodist Church, located at the corner of Oak Hill and Ga. 212, previously told the Citizen the sharp curve coupled with limited visibility and speeding motorists make the intersection, "Always a disaster waiting to happen."

Brannen said he's witnessed the aftermath of many accidents, some fatalities. Brannen's sermons have been interrupted by screeching of tires and crashing cars. A group of men from the church is so used to those sounds they've become a kind of self-appointed response team.

Brannen hopes the traffic light will improve things, once motorists get used to it.

"First, people have got to realize there's a traffic light there. Folks are just so used to shooting down through there," he said.

The traffic light is being funded through federal stimulus dollars at an estimated cost of $106,548.

In other news, the DOT announced that the south end of Lochridge Industrial Boulevard at Ga. Highway 142 will be closed at 10 a.m. Monday, May 23. The closure will last 45 days to facilitate the next phase of a widening project. A detour will be in place using Ga. Highway 142 and the north end of Lochridge Boulevard. Warning signs and barricades will be used.

As with all construction zones, the DOT advises motorists to use extra caution and to slow down, stay alert and obey all work zone and advisory signs.