Dangerous intersection may get a safety makeover - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Dangerous intersection may get a safety makeover

Robert WIlliams Robert WIlliams
Joe Borom Joe Borom
Van Mason Van Mason
ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Driving across US 19 South on Nelms Road in southern Dougherty County is known to be dangerous. Residents are unsure whether the proposed changes would really reduce the number of crashes there.

The intersection is one long-time resident Joe Borom avoids at all costs. "We try to avoid it altogether. I'm just so afraid we're going to hear a lot of noise up there and somebody else is going to get killed up there."

Robert Williams, who lives down the street from Borom, has only lived on Nelms Road for a year and a half, but is already familiar with the long-time problem. "It's been a mess down there. It is the biggest concern in Putney right now."

A concern Dougherty County commissioners are addressing. Officials say 50 percent of the crashes at the intersection are drivers trying to cross US 19 on Nelms Road.

Georgia Department of Transportation officials say there's not enough traffic in that area to warrant a light. But there are other options, called restricting crossing U-turns.

"In other states, and in this state, these options have been used. And it's been shown that they reduce the crashes at these same types of locations," said Van Mason of the GDOT.

One option eliminates the crossover and would allow drivers only to take right turns in and out.

The second option gives a left turn from US 19 South onto Nelms. "I don't think it's going to help, because the only thing they're going to do is go down one block and then turn left and come back," said Williams.

Borom is also unsure about the solution, but agrees something needs to be done. "I don't want to have somebody's death on their hands, another one. We've had quite a few in the last few years."

The project is estimated at just under $300,000. County officials plan to split the cost with DOT to help accelerate the project.

Commissioners will vote on the options, after a public hearing is held.

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