Newnan Times-Herald file photo
A contractor has been chosen to build the new right-turn lane at Fischer Road and Hwy. 34 East, but the work is likely still a few months off.
The turn lane, which will be built for motorists coming from the south (short) side of Fischer and heading right toward Peachtree City, might not be the only improvement at the intersection.
There is also discussion of adding a second left turn lane on the opposite side of Fischer Road for motorists heading left to Peachtree City, according to Coweta Transportation and Engineering director Tod Handley.
The Georgia Department of Transportation will have to make some modifications to the traffic signal to accommodate the new right turn lane, Handley said.
“GDOT has been working on their signal plans for the modification,” he said. “Since we started talking about adding a right turn lane, there has also been some discussion about adding a second left-turn lane.”
At peak times, traffic waiting to turn left tends to back up into the main lane of Fischer Road.
The existing turn lane can’t be made longer because it would conflict with a driveway, according to Handley. But there is an area of pavement, which is currently marked with chevrons as a gore area, separating the turn lane from the through lane. That area of pavement can be turned into a second turn lane.
Adding a second left-turn lane will mean more changes to the traffic signal patterns. When there is a single left turn lane, motorists can turn left both on a green arrow, known as protected phasing, as well as yield on a green light, known as permissive phasing.
But when there is a dual turn lane, traffic can move on the green arrow only.
The goal is to have the two turn lane projects, with the necessary modifications to the traffic signal and to the signal timing, done at the same time, according to Handley.
Piedmont Paving was the low bidder for the project, with a bid of $86,258. Piedmont was also the low bidder for a project to install turn lanes on Hwy. 16 East at the new Leroy Johnson Park in Senoia, with a bid of $347,000.
Tuesday night, the Coweta County Board of Commissioners voted to award Piedmont a contract to do both projects.
Handley said the work on Hwy. 16 will probably be done first because of the work that the state needs to do with the signal changes at Fischer and Hwy. 34.