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County talks intersection improvements
Five Points focus of discussion
740 4080 edit Tom Couch
Bulloch County Manager Tom Couch - photo by Special

Bulloch County Commissioners are still discussing improvements to the Five Points intersection, which includes Burkhalter and Pretoria Rushing roads.
During Tuesday’s Bulloch County Commission meeting, county manager Tom Couch gave a presentation on options for the intersection, which according to a recent traffic study, is in need of improvements. Commissioners are concerned about the intersection, which will include the trail head of S&S Greenway, and which may see the construction of a convenience store nearby.
With possible annexation by the City of Statesboro, the intersection could see increased traffic. There is already a steady amount of traffic on the roads, Couch said.
Commissioners need to be concerned about satisfying zoning conditions for future developers, determining which improvement option to choose, and its design and management, he said.
Options being considered are a four-way stop, two styles of turnabouts or roundabouts, and a traffic signal.
Couch said a signal would be the most costly, and said he feels that even in the future, a signal would not be warranted. The recent traffic study also found a signal is not warranted, he said.
He recommends a turnabout, which he said would be best for the intersection and will “provide traffic calming” that would increase safety for pedestrians.
A four-way stop would be the most inexpensive, but Couch voiced concerns about pedestrian safety with that option. Turnabout costs would be either $529,675 or $507,046, depending upon the style, he said.
The roundabout could be modified to accommodate agricultural equipment and larger trucks, he said.
Board chairman Garrett Nevil said he supported the roundabout option. Commissioner Roy Thompson questioned pedestrian safety, but Couch said a roundabout, or turnabout, would offer the safest option for pedestrians and bike riders on the S&S Greenway.
Nevil noted the trail is already in use by citizens although it has not been completed, and said a local engineering firm has offered to design the turnabout at no charge.
Commissioner Robert Rushing questioned why the intersection needs improvements, citing other road issues that he felt should take precedence. Couch again cited the traffic study and future growth in the area.
Especially if a convenience store is built near the intersection, “it does need to be improved to a certain extent” to handle increased traffic and pedestrian use, he said.”There is more traffic out there than there ever has been and will be more in the future.”
Commissioners agreed to speak with local contractors regarding the options for improvements, and obtain quotes for the project. No action was taken regarding the issue.

Holli Deal Bragg may be reached at (912) 489-9414.

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