COVINGTON — Bryan Stephens makes several daily trips through the Bethany Road, Ga. Highway 212 intersection on his way to work, and he’s used to sitting in traffic.
“Typically it’s difficult to make the right off of Bethany onto (Ga.) 212, especially in the mornings. There’s no light and traffic coming from the Jackson Lake direction comes in waves,” he said. “There’s also (the) issue of who turns first from those of us coming on Bethany and those coming from Butler Bridge trying (to get) on to (Ga.) 212.”
Traffic is heavy in that area due to the new library, Denny Dobbs Park and Oak Hill
Elementary School, Stephens said, and traffic lights installed at the Ga. highways 212 and 20 and Oak Hill intersections have caused more congestion at Bethany and Butler Bridge, which does not have a signal.
“Also, having no turning lanes at Oak Hill and (Ga.) 212 almost defeats its purpose because individuals making left turns totally stop traffic,” he said.
The Georgia Department of Transportation has an improvement project in the works that may help matters for Stephens and other motorists.
Turn lanes will be added on Ga. Highway 212 at the intersection of Bethany and Butler Bridge roads and at the Oak Hill Road intersection, according to DOT spokeswoman Cissy McNure. A center lane will also be added from Bethany and Butler Bridge roads to Denny Dobbs Park. The traffic light at Ga. Highway 212 and Oak Hill Road will be replaced.
Clearing of right of way began earlier this month. The completion date is estimated at July 31, 2014, McNure said. The contractor is not allowed to have lane closures from 6:30 to 8 a.m. and 1:30 to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday when school is in session, she said.
The project is being funded with state and federal transportation dollars, she said.
According to a project description on the DOT website, Pittman Construction Company of Conyers was awarded the nearly $2.3 million construction contract.
Stephens said he’s happy to see efforts to improve congestion in the area.
“One perk of fixing this intersection is I gather it will keep a lot of Bethany travelers from using Richards Chapel Road as a cutthrough to (Ga.) 212. This street is small and there are always kids waiting on buses on it, and people speed through it a lot to avoid the Bethany/(Ga. 212) intersection and the wait it is there to turn,” he said.