Milton opens $2M roundabout as construction continues

The Milton intersection of Freemanville and Providence roads is a lot more round than it used to be.

Contractors shifted the intersection from a four-way stop to a $2 million roundabout on Wednesday.

There will be continued disruptions as road crews finish their work, said Sara Leaders, Milton's interim public works director. "The ultimate roundabout alignment will occur after the remaining infrastructure is complete and final pavement is installed." That could be in July, according to the city's website.

Matthew Fallstrom, Milton’s capital projects manager, said the $2 million comes from the $37 million fund approved by the 2016 Transportation Special Purpose Local-Option Sales Tax, or TSPLOST.

This is part of a larger project to improve the traffic around where Freemanville meets Birmingham Road, which is close to Birmingham Highway, or Ga. 372.

"Future traffic growth in this area will likely increase delay at these intersections," according to a traffic study published in 2015.

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The study said most of the 40 residents who attended a 2014 public house about the project were on board. Some weren’t, the study said, including one person who wrote: “A roundabout is completely inappropriate and a shotgun approach for a rural crossroads; we will be paying the price for years for traffic passing through Milton.”

Roundabouts became all the rage in traffic calming in Georgia a few years ago. In the decade after 2005, more than 145 roundabouts were built throughout the state.

Fallstrom said the next steps for this roundabout are to build the islands that direct drivers, connect the rest of the curb and gutter, tie the stormwater infrastructure together.

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