July 30, 2013

Work on Glenwood-Waugh/MLK intersection could take rest of year

Charles Oliver

— Contractors have begun work that will add dedicated left-turn lanes on Glenwood Avenue at the Waugh Street/Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard intersection.

“We are widening Glenwood to add turn lanes on each side of the intersection,” said Dalton Public Works Project Manager Andrew Parker. “It’s currently four lanes, but often only one lane in each direction, northbound and southbound, is actually moving. Drivers are afraid to get in those inside lanes because if one person stops to turn left they can get hung up there for a couple of cycles of the traffic light.”

The $649,579 project is being funded by the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) that expired at the end of 2010, and Northwest Georgia Paving is doing the work.

Some business owners on Glenwood Avenue said Monday they hope the turn lanes will reduce wrecks at the intersection.

In addition to adding turn lanes, the project calls for the east end of the bridge on Waugh Street to be moved back several feet to keep trucks turning right off of southbound Glenwood from clipping it. The concrete anchoring the bridge railing there has been busted by multiple impacts from vehicles.

“We will also take down the current signal equipment and put up signals on those green mast arms that we have at other intersections around town,” said Parker.

The scheduled completion date for the project is Dec. 1, so officials recommend driving with added caution around the intersection until then.

“The  majority of the work is taking place during business hours. We didn’t want this to be a nighttime-only project because it would have driven the cost up,” Parker said. “If people can avoid the intersection during the day, it would definitely help traffic.”