Road improvements coming to make Steam Mill Road in Columbus safer

Published: Oct. 11, 2022 at 10:42 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - A public outcry to make a deadly road safer in Columbus is falling on city leaders’ ears after two children were recently hit, one killed, in a hit-and-run accident on Steam Mill Road.

As the surviving victim is fighting for his life tonight, officials held a public meeting earlier showing residents how they plan to make the area safer.

Last Friday, the family of two children received a call no parent wanted to hear. Columbus Police say a 13-year-old girl died at the scene of a hit-and-run on Steam Mill Road, and an 11-year-old boy walking alongside her on their way to school was injured. The suspect charged in the case was 29-year-old DeAndre Wolfe. A neighbor says she cried when she heard the news.

“I’m concerned about the fact that they speed on Southern Pines Drive as well as like any other street out there,” said Yolanda Hunter.

In light of the most recent fatal accident involving two children, Columbus officials are speeding up construction to make the area safer. And in the spirit of transparency, they held a public meeting Tuesday to show residents exactly what they have planned.

“It does include a 10-foot multipurpose path along the corridor, as well. As a five-foot sidewalk. It will include curb and gutter drainage improvements,” said the city’s Director of Engineer, Donna Newman.

She says roundabouts will be placed at the intersection of North Star Drive and Steam Mill Road, on Southern Pines Drive and Dogwood Drive.

“Putting a roundabout on Steam Mill Road is not a good idea. That’s not going to slow the traffic down,” said Hunter, concerned about whether the roundabouts will actually help.

“The accidents that occur in a roundabout, when they do occur, they’re not as deadly, if you will, because the traffic is moving slower. And the angle of the accidents is typically more of a glancing-type blow where two cars might run together, side by side versus like a T bone accident where you get serious injury,” said Newman.

Newman says the city will also be adding more turning lanes. The $22.5 million project will be funded using the Transportation Special Local Option Sales Tax or T-SPLOST, passed last year.

They hope to have all three roundabouts in place within the next three to four years, estimating construction may begin during the 4th quarter of 2024 or the first quarter of 2025.