54-74 intersection makeover will start next year, Mayor Learnard says

Screenshot of video shows a displaced left turn lane on Ga. Highway 74. Video from Peachtree City.
Screenshot of video shows a displaced left turn lane on Ga. Highway 74. Video from Peachtree City.

Council says no to car wash rezoning, keeps 2 eastside annexations alive — 

The state expects to let contracts for overhauling the intersection of Ga. highways 54 and 74 by the end of this calendar year, Mayor Kim Learnard reported this week after meeting with Georgia Department of Transportation officials in Peachtree City.

“GDOT is paying for this [work] and I expect construction to begin in spring of 2024,” Mayor Learnard said, “and GDOT shared that they expected this to be a 30-month project.” That would put completion of the reconstructed intersection sometime in 2026.

The redesigned junction is called a displaced left turn intersection, Learnard said in her weekly video report, and will feature longer left-turn lanes going north and south on Hwy. 74, she said. The design is expected to move more traffic through the city’s busiest intersection more quickly, she said.

Meanwhile the City Council voted last week to continue consideration of two eastside annexation proposals to allow for more homes to be built near the new J.C. Booth Middle School.

The 52-acre million-dollar home development will get a rehearing before the city’s Planning Commission for consideration of a revised traffic pattern that focuses on Spear Road. The vote to send it back to the planning commission was 3-to-2. The mayor and council members Phil Prebor and Mike King voted to re-hear the proposal, and council members Frank Destadio and Clint Howard vote against it.

Another annexation proposal of 11.3 acres behind the Shiloh Mobile Home Park for a residential subdivision got a green light for moving to step two, meaning a full examination by city staff. It will come back to the council after that.

The council gave a unanimous negative vote to rezoning two office parcels on Hwy. 54 East adjacent to Sumner Road from Office to General Commercial. Neighbors and the council said the plan to build a high volume car wash in place of the two repurposed houses did not belong in that location.


  1. Everything the city council has tried since I first moved to PTC in ‘97 has done nothing but make traffic along both the 54 and 74 corridors, as well as the 54/74 intersection, worse.

    PTC to Newnan started out as a 12-15 minute commute when I moved to PTC. Try it now and you almost have to pack a lunch.

    The best option would have been the TDK extension, giving an alternate route into and out of PTC.

    Don’t bother throwing all of the previously espoused talking points at me as to why it couldn’t be done, the fact that there’s now a road and a park/rec area there shoots holes in any of those arguments.

  2. The Mayor says, “The design is expected to move more traffic through the city’s busiest intersection more quickly”. Sorry, but no amount of taxpayer money, nor engineering design, would ever be an improvement. When all is said and done, that infamous intersection will still clog and have a share of accidents to add to the congestion.

    • I think it will help to some degree. From what I can see, the displaced left turn will provide relief for the Hwy 74 left-turners at “The Avenue,” and maybe Huddleston Road, traffic lights. It may also allow the Hwy 74 right-turners a bit more time to turn right, thus giving the Hwy 54 north right-laners more opportunity to proceed through the intersection. If not, it surely is going to be an exercise of extremely poor judgement.

    • Based on your logic, we have no need for traffic lights, as they still send cars INTO the intersection. Don’t let perfect be the enemy of progress here. This is what GDOT is empowered to do, and PTC council still needs to work with surrounding cities to create a long term solution that includes rerouting traffic, but that is much slower and costly that the scope of work approved for the displaced left turn lanes.

      • Wow. Just wow. I was an Air Traffic Controller for over 35 years. I KNOW how to run traffic. The best way to elevate traffic is to keep cars AWAY from the bottlenecks. When your “solution” is to continue to push traffic into the area of the bottleneck, it’s only causing a BIGGER problem. Ps.. A traffic light DOESN’T bring cars INTO the intersection. The cars are already there.

    • There is only so much time in the light cycle. Let’s call it 1 minute, or 60 seconds. As it stands now, there are 4 phases–(1) SR 74 left turns; (2) SR 74 straight traffic and right turns; (3) SR 54 left turns; and (4) SR 54 straight traffic and right turns. Yes, there is sometimes shuffling between the specific phases (sometimes SR 54 does one direction left, straight, and right while the other direction has a red light), but there are always still 4 distinct phases. 60 seconds / 4 phases = 15 seconds per phase.

      With displaced left turns on SR 74, the left turns “move over” to the left side of the road while SR 54 traffic is going straight. That means that there is no need for a separate phase 1 of just left turns on SR 74. This brings the number of phases down from 4 to 3. 60 seconds / 3 phases = 20 seconds per phase.

      It might not sound like much, but that 5 extra seconds would represent 33% additional green time per phase (5 seconds more / 15 seconds base).

    • I grew up in Fayetteville but left mid ‘80’s at 25. I ended up very near GA400, just over the Lumpkin County line. A few years ago, DOT implemented the exact same traffic design at Ga Hwy 53 and 400. And it actually works! I was a doubter. It’s a continuous flow traffic pattern and it’s perfectly timed. Unless you’re really slo or really fast. Either or…..it works!

  3. I’d like to clarify your synopsis for the votes surrounding the 52-acre annexation. The timestamp on the stream is 1 hour 24 minutes.
    Mr. Holland finishes his remarks about the property, noting the Planning Commission’s input about it not being in the annexation plan. He then immediately makes a motion to deny this annexation, without it going back through the Planning Commission due to significant changes, which Mr. Destadio seconds. The denial motion is defeated 3-2.
    A motion is then made to send the annexation proposal back to the Planning Commission, due to significant changes, which Mr. Destadio also seconds. This motion carries unanimously.

    An interesting takeaway from this is the stated importance of the Planning Commission, yet the subsequent motion to bypass the Planning Commission’s input altogether. In the end, all 5 members voted to send the proposal back to the Planning Commission.