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Published February 13, 2014
Citizen Concerns Lead to Safety Upgrades at SR 90 Intersection
FITZGERALD, Ga. – The Georgia Department of Transportation and Ben Hill County Commission have responded to citizen concerns about the intersection of state Route 90 at Lower Rebecca Road by implementing safety upgrades at the crossing.

Ben Hill County Manager Frank Feild said residents have complained about the number and severity of accidents that have occurred at the intersection. Georgia DOT Traffic Operations was notified of four crashes at the junction from September 2009 to October 2014. Those crashes involved a total of eight vehicles and resulted in seven injuries and one fatality. Feild said public interest in the intersection intensified after last year’s fatality.

“We’re all taking it seriously to handle it as quickly as we can,” Feild said. “I deeply appreciate all that DOT does to help our citizens and make their lives safer. I’ve never been disappointed by DOT.”

Feild asked the Department what could be done to enhance safety at the intersection and Traffic Operations recommended the county consider installing rumble strips on Lower Rebecca Road. The county has installed three sets of rumble strips on each side of the road at county expense, Feild said. SR 90 traffic does not stop and Lower Rebecca Road traffic is controlled by stop signs. The noise and vibration produced by rumble strips alert drivers on Lower Rebecca Road that they are approaching an intersection and should prepare to stop.

The Georgia DOT has moved the stop bars on Lower Rebecca Road, increased the size of the stop signs, installed advanced warning signs and is in the process of replacing the overhead flashing lights with advanced warning ground-mounted flashers, Traffic Engineer Van Mason said.

Moving the stop bars closer to the intersection shortens the distance Lower Rebecca Road motorists have to travel to clear the crossing and gives them a clearer line of sight of approaching SR 90 traffic, Mason said.

Visibility of the stop signs increased by installing 48-inch signs to replace the smaller 36-inch size and plaques warning “Cross Traffic Does Not Stop” have been added to the stop signs. Advanced warning signs alert SR 90 traffic to the upcoming intersection and Lower Rebecca Road traffic to the upcoming stop sign.

Installation of advanced warning ground-mounted flashing lights for greater visibility is expected to be complete next week. It could take another week or two for the power to be connected to the box that controls the lights.
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