Two Suwanee intersections to get safety upgrades

SUWANEE -- Two busy Suwanee intersections, which have been the site of one fatal car wreck and the subject of residents' concerns, will soon receive safety upgrades.

A traffic light is scheduled to be installed at McGinnis Ferry Road and Scales Road, and raised islands will be installed at McGinnis Ferry and Peachtree Industrial Boulevard, Gwinnett Commissioner Jace Brooks said Wednesday. Both projects are expected to be started in the next several months.

County spokesman Joe Sorenson said Gwinnett County Department of Transportation officials recently completed a traffic analysis at McGinnis Ferry and Scales Road. They found that a traffic signal would increase the "operational efficiency" of the intersection.

The project would be funded with reallocated funds from the 2009 SPLOST Program, DOT officials said.

Brooks said the McGinnis Ferry-Scales intersection became busier after McGinnis Extension opened about a year and a half ago.

"I felt like it was kind of scary sometimes," said Brooks, a former Suwanee City Councilman.

While Suwanee Police reported just two incidents at the intersection since January, 2011, one was a double fatal wreck in late November. The wrong-way wreck killed a Bogart man and a Suwanee woman.

Suwanee City Manager Marty Allen said that number of incidents wouldn't cause officials to initiate safety changes, but the fatality spurred discussions.

Suwanee resident Marjorie Cook said she was pleased to learn of the safety upgrades at McGinnis Ferry and PIB.

Cook originally voiced concerns at a Suwanee City Council meeting about a year ago after she and her husband witnessed a young mother and child attempting to cross the intersection in what was a potentially tragic situation.

But after a summer meeting between city and county officials, Allen and Gwinnett Director of Transportation Kim Conroy said a cost-benefit analysis of rebuilding the intersection was not high on a list of projects.

The county-controlled intersection was listed No. 47 on a list of 50 projects on the city's existing Pedestrian and Bicycle Plan.

Cook said plans changed following an October meeting she had with Gwinnett Commission Chairwoman Charlotte Nash and Conroy.

"I think she has the best interest of the community, and I don't think she has a negative bone in her body," Cook said of Nash. "She recognized that that is a very dangerous intersection. Of course, I put my plea in to be proactive and not reactive."

The existing Pedestrian and Bicycle Plan suggested pedestrian signal phases, street lighting, accented crosswalks and raised islands be put in, which Suwanee Mayor Jimmy Burnette referenced in a letter to Conroy last year.

In the same letter, Burnette said Suwanee would be willing to contribute funds for the project as a joint venture.

Cook said she was told the project is weather dependent, but would not close lanes to traffic and could be finished in a few weeks.


kevin 2 years, 7 months ago

How about the same at L-Ville-Suwanee Rd and Northbrook? It's very hard to figure out quickly which side of the lane to be on when you make a left turn onto Northbrook. Poor markings, no sign, no raised divider. People have a tendency to turn into the oncoming lane. Poor planning caused all this. So no one saw the higher traffic use coming with a new road? Great planning after some deaths from the lack of foresight by public officials. Why not at the very least, mark the street with turning lane stripes or arrows?


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