Fayetteville’s Hwy. 85 strip to get left-turn stopping medians?

Fayetteville’s Hwy. 85 strip to get left-turn stopping medians?

Dozens of businesses would be affected by plans to reduce left turns

An intergovernmental agreement (IGA) between Fayette County and Fayetteville for a future landscaped median project for Ga. Highway 85 was tabled at the June 14 meeting of the Fayette County Commission. The item will be back before commissioners in July.

The IGA that would allocate $500,000 from 2004 SPLOST (special purpose local option sales tax) funds to cover the acquisition of right-of-way, construction, design and project management, materials and labor for median improvements along Hwy. 85 on the north and south sides of downtown Fayetteville.

Fayetteville Director of Public Services Chris Hindman said the project, which will take up to three years for approvals, would install landscaped medians to replace the so-called “suicide” lanes along portions of the busy commercial stretch of roadway. Those are the bi-directional center turn lanes extending from south of the courthouse square northward to the Ga. Highway 314 junction.

The project will be designed to improve safety and traffic flow. However, dozens of retail businesses fronting both sides of Hwy. 85 would be affected by the change, since vehicles could no longer turn left at any point along the strip but would be restricted to widely spaced median cuts.

Hindman said plans call for landscaped medians similar to those found along Hwy. 54.

Hindman emphasized that there is no exact plan date, adding that the original concept, which could be modified, had medians installed from Grady Avenue on the south to Ga. Highway 314 on the north.

As it stands today, Hindman said engineering and design plans will need to be acquired, along with approvals from the Ga. Department of Transportation.

The IGA states that the city will be responsible for project costs that exceed $500,000.

The IGA will be on the agenda at the next commission meeting for consideration.