By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Harville Road-Langston Chapel Road roundabout construction to begin
Intersection to close for 90 days beginning July 8 to complete project
The intersection of Langston Chapel Road and Harville Road is shown Friday afternoon. Construction of a roundabout at the intersection is set to begin July 8.

For several months, work at the intersection of Harville Road and Langston Chapel Road has been ongoing to prepare the site for the construction of a traffic roundabout.

On Friday, the Georgia Department of Transportation, through a letter from J.A. Long Concrete Paving, informed Bulloch County the intersection would be closed to through traffic July 8 for 90 days through Oct. 6 to construct the roundabout. 

Local traffic access will be monitored by J.A. Long workers. Access to Elmer Phillips Road off Harville Road will be blocked. Elmer Phillips may be accessed off Carrington Drive, which intersects Highway 67, just east of the Fair Road/Burkhalter Road intersection. Langston Chapel Road will be blocked at the intersection and can only be accessed coming from the east.

Currently, traffic controls at the intersection consist of stop signs on Langston Chapel Road and on unpaved and less-traveled Bethel Church Road, which would also join the roundabout. Harville Road now passes through unimpeded, curving sharply where it meets Langston Chapel Road.  

While the Langston Chapel and Bethel Church roads would each meet the roundabout at a single point, Harville Road would intersect it from both sides, so the roundabout would have a total of four ways in and out.

Georgia DOT/special / This colorful but complicated illustration shows the Georgia Department of Transportation's concept for the roundabout joining Langston Chapel Road to Harville Road and Bethel Church Road.

This state funded and directed project is estimated to cost $3.75 million, including $2.46 million for construction, $390,000 for acquiring right of way, $180,000 for utilities and the previously authorized $720,000 for preliminary engineering. Paving contractor J.A. Long is based in Fortson, Ga., which is near Columbus.

“The roundabout option is expected to improve safety compared to the existing two-way stop-controlled intersection by eliminating the most severe angle crash types and reducing the potential for severe injury and fatal crashes due to reduced intersection speeds,” the Georgia DOT stated in its initial summary of expected benefits of the roundabout.

Previously rare here, roundabouts have been installed across Georgia in the past 15 years, including several in Bulloch County. The new roundabout would be less than a mile east of an existing roundabout that connects Langston Chapel Road, from both directions, to a segment of Burkhalter Road. 

Reducing crashes

Planning for the Langston/Harville roundabout “originated from the need to address a total of 25 crashes that were reported between 2012 and 2016,” the Georgia DOT stated in a 2021 report. Seven of those crashes resulted in at least one person being injured, but no deaths were reported from crashes at the intersection during the four-year period analyzed.

A traffic engineering study looked at traffic volumes at peak periods, the crash history and road geometry. The study compared the effects a traffic signal and a “roundabout alternative” would have.

In making the decision to build a roundabout, Georgia DOT Project Manager Travis Williams said in 2021: “Roundabouts are tremendously safer than a stop-controlled or a traffic-controlled intersection … What they do is they slow the traffic down but keep it moving.”

The roundabout will consist of a 20-foot-wide circulatory roadway, with an elliptical island in the middle surrounded by a truck apron, a slightly raised surface that large trucks can run over to negotiate the turns.  Curb-and-gutter would be installed around the outside of the oval and inside the truck apron.

As at other roundabouts, there would be no signal lights, only signs. These would include yield signs and roundabout signs, with three arrows in a circle and an indication of 25 mph as the safe speed inside the roundabout, dropping from posted speeds of 45 and 35 on the various approaches. 

Sign up for the Herald's free e-newsletter