Hard times for Bernhard Road drivers as upgrade severs east-west route until fall
Anyone driving by the intersection of Ga. Highway 85 South and Bernhard Road recently cannot help but notice the closure to the east side of Bernhard and the dramatic changes to the landscape along Hwy. 85.
The construction project has severed one of the few east-west routes through Fayette County.
It’s all part of a Ga. Dept. of Transportation-funded intersection improvement project that, once completed in the fall, will add turn lanes and a traffic signal to the busy intersection.
Fayette County Public Works Director Phil Mallon said the intersection improvement project has been on the books for years. One reason for that is evident in the long line of vehicles on Bernhard Road on the west side of Hwy. 85 attempting to make left turns onto Hwy. 85 North during heavy traffic periods.
Totally funded by the Ga. DOT, Mallon said the project will include a traffic signal and turn lanes on all four sides of the intersection.
Signal plans for the intersection show Hwy. 85 with three northbound and southbound lanes while both the east and west sides of Bernhard Road will have a through-lane and a dedicated left turn lane. Concrete strain poles will be used for the traffic signal, Mallon said, adding that pedestrian crosswalks will also be installed.
Work on the west side of Hwy. 85 now underway includes upgrading the culverts near the intersection along with the road widening.
Work on the east side of Hwy. 85 is expected to begin in July. And the installation of turn lanes on Hwy. 85 is also expected this summer.
Mallon said completion of the project, weather permitting, is expected in the fall.