Columbia County Residents Continue Fight for Traffic Light - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken

Columbia County Residents Continue Fight for Traffic Light

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Columbia County residents planning to petition for a stop light at a dangerous intersection. News Channel 6's Tyrone McCoy followed up viewer concerns about the turns from the Chimney Hill and Country Place subdivisions.

Robin Bentley explains "sometimes I can't even pull out of my neighborhood. I feel like it's not safe for me."
Bentley lives in the Chimney Hill subdivision that intersects with Washington Road, just behind the Wal Mart in Evans. Day in and day out she says there's a struggle to get on and off the side roads that connect to the 5 lane roadway. A struggle that often ends in wreckage.

"This morning an old man was taking a left out of our neighborhood and, as I could tell and the driver I was with, no cars were coming. He pulled out like he had the right of way and a car came down the hill flying and hit this man, t-boned him," she adds.

After witnessing the crash, Bentley reached out to News Channel 6 for help in petitioning for a light at the intersection; A process Columbia County engineers are already working on.

Ronald Hutto, Columbia County Engineer, adds "as any intersection, that is a state route. It's owned by the Georgia Department of Transportation and they have several rules that you must meet before you can get a signal."

According to Hutto, the D-O-T determines the need for a signal based on things like the capacity of the road, accident history and traffic movement. And despite information provided by county engineers, traffic signals have been denied at Chimney Hill and several other intersections throughout the county.

Hutto says, "you've got a subdivision road. Blanchard Road is a major corridor with a major athletic complex down there and Georgia DOT has turned us down on it. We've been turned down on Silver Lake. We've been turned down on Hardy-McManus."

While Hutto agrees the intersection is dangerous, he urges drivers to express caution at problem areas like Chimney Hill and Country Place.

Hutto says Columbia County engineers have taken some action by expanding the road for drivers to safely turn on and off Washington Road. He adds, when conditions warrant a traffic signal, engineers will take it from there.

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