Planterra Ridge turn lanes to be built at night after Christmas

Planterra Ridge turn lanes to be built at night after Christmas

The long wait for improvements to the intersection at Planterra Way and Ga. Highway 54 West in Peachtree City is coming to an end. An $852,000 bid for the work was approved Aug. 3, signaling the first phase of the project to begin immediately.

The Peachtree City Council unanimously approved the low bid totaling $852,628 for the project that will make a number of improvements to the intersection. The project will come in two phases.

Above, a file photo shows afternoon traffic backed up eastward on Ga. Highway 54 before drivers even get to the Planterra Ridge intersection about a half-mile west.

The first phase, to begin now and be completed by the end of October, will extend the turn lanes on the east and west sides of the intersection by 150 feet. That portion of the intersection improvement project is being funded by a $150,000 contribution from the Ga. Department of Transportation. City staff said the majority of the work will be performed at night.

The second phase of the project is slated to begin in January after the holidays.

On the Planterra side, the current median will be removed and the finished product will include a left turn lane onto Hwy. 54 West, a thru-lane into the Walmart/Home Depot area and a right turn lane for traffic heading east on Hwy. 54.

For traffic leaving the Walmart and Home Depot area there will be two left turn lanes for traffic onto Hwy. 54 eastbound.

The improvement at Planterra Way will eliminate the split-phasing of the traffic signal. Split-phasing means the left turn from Planterra onto Hwy. 54 and the left turn from the Walmart area onto Hwy. 54 cannot be operated at the same time and, consequently, increases the traffic cycling time and causes more back-ups.

“There is no good time to do a transportation project on an active road,” said City Manager Jon Rorie, explaining that to do the entire project at once would mean that barrels and barricades be in place during the holiday season.

The project will be funded with with $702,000 in SPLOST (special purpose local option sales tax) revenues and $150,000 contribution from DOT.

Also in the works just to the west is the intersection improvement project at Hwy. 54 and MacDuff Parkway, expected to go to bid in September.