News 12 at 11 o'clock / Sunday, Aug. 26, 2012
COLUMBIA COUNTY, Ga. -- A new intersection in the works all summer in Columbia County is almost finished. Neighbors say they're ready for the much-needed improvement at what they call a dangerous intersection.
The intersection of Hardy McManus road and Furys Ferry has seen a lot of accidents over the years and a lot of traffic recently. Now, they are putting SPLOST dollars to work to make it a better and safer place to drive.
"It's busy," said Elizabeth Bates as she looked a the intersection.
She has lived on the corner of Hardy McManus and Furys Ferry Road for over 30 years.
"It's grew over leaps and bounds," she said.
She loves to sit out on her front porch and watch the cars go by and she's seen a lot more recently.
"I sat out here [Saturday] and I thought, well I could've had a yard sale because there were so many cars coming up and down the road," she said.
Over the years, she's seen a lot of accidents happen right across the street.
"I have seen them be knocked down into that ditch right down in there," she said as she pointed across the street.
And she's not the only one. Tony Westbrook lives a few houses up and has seen and experienced how dangerous it can be.
"I was in [an accident] just last year," he said.
Neighbors say it's been a dangerous intersection for as long as they've lived there.
"People just don't stop, they don't look, they're in a hurry, it's just dangerous," Westbrook said.
"[I] see a lot of people get into bad accidents, car mishaps, bang-ups and now I think it will be a lot prevented," Bates said.
Prevented thanks to a road improvement project that's widening the roads and adding turn lanes.
"I can see a lot of improvement and more satisfaction to the people who live in this area," Bates said. "Ease access of getting in and out and let the flow of the traffic move on out, too."
The construction will add a left turn lane on Hardy McManus and a left and right turn lane on Furys Ferry. County officials say they are necessary improvements to help the traffic flow with two schools in the area and make it safer for drivers and neighbors.
"It's pretty good fast traffic through here and now it's more open and I think you can see more," Bates said.
They are expecting work to be completed on the intersection within the next month. They are also working on a project with the new TSPLOST money that will widen Furys Ferry Road to four lanes.
They did apply to put a red light in, but right now the intersection does not meet DOT standards for a red light. There has to be a certain amount of traffic going through the area and they say the volume just isn't high enough. They say once the intersection is completed, they will go back out and reevaluate and keep working to get a stop light there.