Valdosta Daily Times

May 20, 2013

Gornto extension half complete

Utilities to be moved, traffic signal ordered

Jason Schaefer
The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — The Gornto Road extension project is more than half-way complete, and could be finished ahead of the one-year deadline contractors were given when the project was approved Oct. 11 by the Valdosta City Council.

Construction has been underway since Dec. 5 for the $1.9 million project that will connect Patterson and Oak streets between Woodrow Wilson Drive and Gornto Road, and developers have made significant progress.

“I fully expect the project will be done before December,” City Engineer Pat Collins said. “We’re not seeing the progress right now because of the fact that we’re waiting for utilities to move.”

Developers will reroute power and telephone utilities overhead and water/sewer underground before finishing off the surface of the road, and will install mast arms for traffic lights that have been ordered.

“Mast arms are better for wind than cable-hung traffic signals,” Collins said. “Instead of hanging on a cable, it’s a steel bar that goes across the intersection. Those have to be custom-ordered for the particular intersections.”

Camera detection will also be installed on the mast arms, as opposed to the usual loop detection devices installed into the pavement. Both technologies detect automobiles as they approach an intersection to change the light, but cameras “see” an image of the car, while loops use electromagnetic signals.

Once the utilities and masts are installed, construction will continue in a “final push” toward completion, Collins said. The Oak Street side of the extension has yet to begin, and landscaping, storm-drain piping, electronics, wiring, paving and curbing and other smaller projects will follow.