New stop light to be installed in front of Bainbridge High School

BAINBRIDGE, GA (WALB) - Folks in Bainbridge are celebrating news they've been waiting to hear for over a year.

A traffic light will be installed at the Bainbridge High School entrance.

It's a busy four-lane divided highway that's located right next to a high school.

And many parents believe it's not the sort of intersection suited for teenagers.

Decatur County Board of Education Superintendent Dr. Fred Rayfield said, “16 to 18 year old drivers--that's always a concern.”

Several accidents have been reported since the beginning of this year.

City Manager Chris Hobby said, “Everybody says, 'Oh, well you have to wait until you have that really bad accident until you do something.'  Luckily, we've been able to avoid that.”

On Tuesday, the Department of Transportation notified the city of Bainbridge and the Decatur County BOE of the plan to install a red light at the school's entrance.

“This is good news,” said Hobby.  “I think this is something here in the community that we knew was needed.”

The red light comes after several months of the DOT making improvements  to reduce the number of wrecks around the school.

“Lowering the speed limits, extending the turning lanes, moving the school zone signs out further, and flashing yellow lights,” explained Dr. Rayfield.

But data showed that those steps did little to reduce the number of wrecks.

The light installation is set to begin this July, in order to be completed before next school year.

“I haven't seen the DOT budget numbers on this,” said Hobby. “Luckily it is a state-funded project, so we won't have to dip into local funds.”

The DOT will host a groundbreaking celebration in front of the school on June 30.

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