Columbus moves to start building River Road roundabout

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Columbus city government moves one step closer to building a new roundabout on River Road.

The project would remove the existing traffic lights at the intersection between Bradley Park Drive, Green Island Drive, and Cascade Road. 

Rick Jones, director of the city's planning department, said they were originally tasked with updating the traffic signal system at the intersection.

At some point, Jones said they felt the most efficient improvement would be this future roundabout, and the city has already taken some steps to prepare for the project. 

"We have acquired all the necessary right of way out there for the project," Jones said.  

He also said Georgia Power has already adjusted their utilities layout in the neighborhood to make room for construction crews.

"I expect the other to follow suit here very soon," Jones said.

When asked if the city has already opened bids for contracts, Jones said, "We still have not gone out to bid on it, but we will soon."

Jones added he expects to start construction on the roundabout this summer. 

Some Columbus citizens, like 21-year-old Kortne Moore, had mixed reactions about the project. 

"In the roundabouts I've encountered," Moore said, "I feel like people really don't know when to go, so it's kind of like a waiting game."

She said the roundabout does have its advantages, like potentially smoothing the flow of traffic.

Cyclist Mike Kindrick agrees, but said it's a matter of the community knowing how to properly use a roundabout.

"The main problem I see with them is the general population doesn't really know how they work," Kindrick said.

Another fact that stood out to both Moore and Kindrick is the current price tag on this project.

Out of the projected $2.7 million cost, the city of Columbus is expecting to pay $1.2 million, with the state paying the remaining $1.5 million.

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