New Plan to Reduce Accidents

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December 5, 2005
Accidents and congestion are moving into Columbia County along with a 1,500-acre development. And some worry things will get even worse when a new development moves in near Greenbrier High. News 12 is on your side with Columbia County’s plans to make the roads safer and ease traffic when Riverwood Plantation moves in.

Getting past the intersection of William Few and Washington Road can be a long commute. And it’s not the distance, it’s the traffic. Beth Schwenfeier’s family fights it everyday.

“My daughter was on the bus for at least fifty minutes to get from here to Greenbrier Middle School,” Schwenfeier said.

The drive should have been right under ten minutes. Accidents that happen daily add even more time to the commute. Staff Sgt. Tim Perry says most are minor fender benders.

“It becomes very congested in that intersection and traffic backs up in all directions,” Perry said.

This is a problem that could get worse with Riverwood Plantation. The 1,500-acre development is divided into two sections. The first bordered by Clanton Road and William Few Parkway. The second section is just west of Greenbrier High at the intersection of Washington and Old Washington Roads.

These trees will become town homes, subdivisions, and a grocery store, plus some office buildings. Construction Engineer Ronnie Hutto says they plan to add a left turn lane going into the development. A new road connecting Greenbrier High to William Few is also part of the plan.

“This will definitely afford them a place to stop to make a left turn which will allow the thru traffic to move on either side and it will be a much safer intersection,” Hutto said.

“It should alleviate the problem in the morning,” Perry said.

Beth Schwenfeier says the sooner the better.

“The county has an opportunity to get ahead of itself, rather than play catch up,” Schwenfeier said.

That’s what the county hopes to do. The county plans to start the road construction after the first of the year. They’re waiting for the Georgia Department of Transportation to approve the project.