The Dade Planet reported in December that Trenton's cockeyed central intersection, which the Dade County government complains causes at least a fender-bender a week, would be fixed shortly after Christmas. It has not been, and Arafa Mohamed of the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) indicated on Wednesday it is unlikely to be before summer.
"The project covers intersection improvements in three counties, Catoosa, Walker and Dade," Mohamed told The Planet in a Jan. 11 email. "When the project is awarded it [is] up to the contractor as to where he begins working."
Arafa said that the multi-county project GDOT awarded to the contractor includes 11 intersections. "The contractor has started with Catoosa County," he wrote. "It is possible that Dade County will be the last section to be completed."
Arafa said the work will be done in phases. "The Dade County portion has already had some resurfacing work, and will be stripped to comply with the new final alignment requirements," he wrote. "The anticipated completion date for this contract is July 1, 2017."
County Manager Ted Rumley, questioned Thursday morning, seemed resigned to the wait--observers of local government will have noticed that last is where rural counties generally perceive themselves with GDOT. But Rumley said the county would coordinate with the city of Trenton to fix more speedily at least one portion of the intersection that has been driving residents nuts: the lane arrows on the Ingle's side.
Before the resurfacing work that GDOT did this fall, arrows on the pavement coming from Ingle's--which, incidentally, is a city street, Ingle's Drive--showed that the right lane was for right turns only and the left lane for left turns as well as straight through to 136 West. After the resurfacing, arrows were painted to show the left lane was for left turns and the right lane for right turns, with no option indicated for going straight through. In short, the confusing intersection became more confusing.
But Rumley said that's an issue that can be resolved locally, and he indicated it would be done shortly.
As for the worse problem, the crooked southbound lane coming from downtown Trenton toward Rising Fawn, which requires drivers to dog-leg sharply right through the intersection, sometimes colliding with cars going straight in the right-turn lane: "That's something they'll have to do," said Rumley. "That'll be a major deal."
Editor's Note: Late on Thursday, after this article was posted, the city did finish a temporary fix for the lane problem at Ingle's, painting in a "straight-though" arrow.