DOUGHERTY CO., GA (WALB) - Drivers along U.S. Highway 82 will notice a change at a busy Dougherty County intersection on Thursday.
Several improvements are being made to U.S. Highway 82 and County Line Road as part of a more than $3 million project. Crews began work in December, working to offset and extend left-hand turning lanes to create a "Type B" median crossover. They've also realigned the intersection.
The biggest change drivers will notice are the traffic signals, set to go live on Thursday. Many travel the road to go to the Marine Corps Logistics Base or travel to or from work in Albany. GDOT officials said after a careful review of the intersection, which has seen several serious crashes, they decided a traffic signal would improve safety.
"There have been accidents there over the years and they have been the type that we feel are correctable by the installation of a signal which is more so the angle type accidents as opposed to rear ends and side swipes," said GDOT district traffic engineer Van Mason.
First Baptist Church of Acree sits right at the heart of the intersection. Pastor Gary Hadden said he's happy about the new additions to the intersection.
"We have had church members to be involved in accidents here, some of them were killed, we're glad that they're putting the lights up and fixing it so that it will be safer," said Hadden.
He says he often sees drivers speeding through the intersection or failing to come to a complete stop.
"You watch that vehicle pass and pull out and there's a vehicle behind it," he said. "So this will make people come to a stop from both directions. And so I think that that's definitely going to cut down on the number of accidents and save lives here."
Hadden also hopes the lights will have an added benefit.
"What I hope is when people come to the red light and have to stop there and wait that they'll look over here and see a church building," Hadden said.