COBB CO, Ga – Orange barrels and yellow tape are not enough to keep drivers out of construction areas in Cobb County, and transportation officials are warning drivers they’re putting themselves and others at risk.
Before contractors placed a concrete median in the center of Windy Hill Road, 11Alive cameras caught numerous drivers dodging barrels and tape, driving around construction equipment to make a left turn from one side of Windy Hill to another.
“We see it every day,” says John Nicholson.
Nicholson works along the section of Windy Hill where crews are eliminating the center left turn lane.
“Workers out here all day long, sometimes I see them have to stop and let the cars go through, says Nicholson. “They just bust right through no matter what's going on.”
The high accident rate involving cars trying to turn across multiple lanes convinced Cobb County to eliminate the center left turn lane. Commuters who need to get to the other side of Windy Hill can travel to the nearest traffic signal and make a legal U-turn.
And yet, before concrete is added to limit left turns, 11Alive’s Commuter Dude witnessed drivers travel through areas where others have removed yellow caution tape.
David Baggett, Cobb County’s ambassador for the project, says even after the addition of the concrete media, drivers continue to drive through the barrels, looking for an opening to make their left turn.
“You're going through a dangerous area, putting our people in danger,” says Baggett. “You're putting yourself in danger just to save a few minutes. It's not worth it.”
For awhile, the contractor had to hire an off-duty police officer to discourage the risky behavior.