Commuter Dude: Much anticipated intersection work hits road bump

A much anticipated intersection project comes to a temporary halt when a contractor discovered a surprise underground.

DEKALB, Co – A Dekalb County intersection is getting a much anticipated overhaul, but it didn’t happen without a hiccup.

The plastic bags covering a brand new set of traffic lights at Lithonia Industrial Boulevard and Covington Highway are like the wrapping over a gift Alicia Brown can't open.

“It's frustrating,” says Brown of the congestion. “It's a headache. A lot of horns honking. A lot of attitudes.”

For decades, she's watched traffic build at the intersection near her home.

GDOT listened to the complaints of Alicia Brown and others. A traffic study was followed by a promise for change. Recently, new traffic lights appeared. A state contractor cleared a spot for left turn lanes.

Then the work stopped.

“It was frustration all over again,” says Brown. “Here we are 80-degrees weather. No rain. We don't know why it stopped.”

The work was supposed to take only a month or two.

“It was supposed to be a pretty quick project,” says GDOT’s Natalie Dale.

Dale says the contractor ran into an unexpected barrier. GDOT worked with Dekalb County to identify and locate underground utilities. Despite those efforts, crews found Dekalb County waterlines were not in the location or depth they'd expected.

“We just didn't get exact enough location,” says Dale. “There was some miscommunication about where those pipe structures were, what depth they were.”

Soon after we started asking questions, the work resumed.

The contractor had to redesign the project to work around those underground utilities.

It took time, but Alicia Brown is among those who are overjoyed to, once again, hear the sounds of progress that will, hopefully, replace the sounds of blaring car horns.


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