The Reduced Conflict U-Turn (R-CUT) intersection under construction on the bypass at Black’s Bluff Road is a relatively new configuration in Georgia that state transportation officials say significantly reduces crashes.

Floyd County is getting its first R-CUT safety median at the intersection of the bypass and Black’s Bluff Road.

“Crews are mobilized and on site,” County Manager Jamie McCord said.

The acronym stands for Reduced Conflict U-Turn intersection. The configuration has been shown to reduce the number and severity of crashes by about 50%, according to the Georgia Department of Transportation

Once it’s done, instead of driving straight across the bypass or making a left turn onto it, motorists on Black’s Bluff will turn right onto the bypass.

They’ll then make a U-turn through a median cut and either continue on the bypass or turn right onto Black’s Bluff, depending on their destination.

GDOT is funding the $570,726 project through its Quick Response program. District spokesman Mohamed Arafa said the program is for projects that can be done in a short period of time and typically cost less than $200,000.

“The money comes from the state motor fuel tax and is primarily used for small projects on the state route system,” he said.

The R-CUT was broken up into three contracts, which all went to Rome-based Spriggs Construction Co.

Arafa said the first contract is construction of a northbound turnaround lane on the bypass at a cost of $196,396. The second is for $177,715, to build the R-CUT concrete island, and the third – at $196,615, is for the southbound turnaround lane.

“This Quick Response safety project will help improve the flow of traffic in the area, make it safer, and help the public get where they need to go in Floyd County,” Arafa said.

The project has been in the works for about a year – one of the last ones put in train before his retirement by former district engineer DeWayne Comer. McCord said at the time there had been 27 wrecks and three fatalities at the intersection in three years.

The Floyd County Commission had sought a traffic signal at the intersection but GDOT backed the R-CUT configuration instead. It reportedly will add about 20 seconds to a trip.

Paulding County has an R-CUT intersection near its busy government complex, on U.S. 278 at South Main Street and GDOT intends to install more around the state, according to an informational flyer it released in November.

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