Grady-Beauregard roundabout on track for August completion
The temporary closure on June 1 of the intersection of Grady Avenue and Beauregard Avenue in Fayetteville has affected many area motorists. The long lines of re-routed traffic should come to an end during the first week of August when the reconfigured intersection re-opens as an upscale traffic roundabout.
City Director of Public Services Don Easterbrook said the Grady Avenue/Beauregard Avenue roundabout, the replacement for the old four-way stop, is designed to promote the free-flow of traffic at one of the city’s busiest local intersections. Grady Avenue is a frequently used connector for Ga. highways 54 and 85, enabling motorists to bypass the often congested downtown area.
Easterbrook said construction of the roundabout is on schedule, with the new intersection expected to open during the first week of August.
The roundabout is configured with an interior landscaped island that is 47 feet in diameter surrounded by a 17-foot-wide drivable truck apron of stamped concrete resembling cobblestone and, finally, and outer asphalt ring that is 18 feet in width.
Surrounding the intersection on all sides will be a wealth of flowers, shrubs and small trees along with 4-6-foot brick screen walls on the northwest and southeast sides.
Though the planted areas will be irrigated, Easterbrook said some of the planting might be postponed for a short time due to the hot temperatures.
Once the hundreds of plants are established, the roundabout area is designed to resemble a drive-thru garden.
The city’s aim in installing a roundabout as opposed to a traffic signal involved more than the long-standing problem of traffic flow at the intersection, Easterbrook said.
“The purpose and need of this project is to improve traffic conditions and safety at this busy intersection while preserving the historic and residential land use characteristics of the surrounding area. The use of a traffic signal in this area, which promotes a more commercial style land use, was considered but declined by the city,” said Easterbrook.
Easterbrook said the city is also working on a conceptual design for the Grady Avenue/Hwy. 85 intersection if the increased traffic flow from the roundabout necessitates changes at that intersection. The conceptual design includes a southbound right turn lane onto Hwy. 85 South, lengthening of the Grady Avenue northbound left turn lane onto Hwy. 85 North and alternatives to the timing of the traffic signal.
The $553,000 project is funded through the city’s Impact Fee Fund.
The proposal for the roundabout came from a 2007 Downtown Fayetteville Traffic Study. A portion of the study noted the declining effectiveness of the Grady/Beauregard intersection during peak travel hours and school-zone periods.