FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — A recent accident involving a teen from West Forsyth High School is prompting elected officials to increase safety measures for dangerous intersections along Post Road.
On Aug. 13, Zoe Ordway, age 16, sustained serious injuries while making a left turn from Bentley Road onto Post Road. A pickup truck broad-sided her vehicle as she was driving home from cross-country practice. Ordway suffered multiple broken bones during the incident and underwent hours of surgery.
According to the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office, the intersection has been a hazard for years.
The accident has persuaded officials to push for safer road conditions at many of the road’s intersections in the hopes of moving up a planned widening date. Members of the community are signing a petition to bring attention to the dangerous intersections and raising funds to help the Ordways with medical bills. Multiple discussions have been made concerning the widening of the road and the addition of traffic lights.
Forsyth County Commissioner Todd Levent, who has children attending West Forsyth High School near Post Road, has been pushing for years to put these changes and safety procedures into action.
Six years ago, Levent urged the Georgia Department of Transportation to hasten widening the road when it was revealed that construction was not set to begin until 2035. Forsyth County Superior Court Judge Jeffrey S. Bagley joined Levent in petitioning GDOT for the approval of a traffic light at Bentley Road and Post Road. Despite presenting traffic studies and accident reports to back their request, the action was denied.
In 2014, local voters passed a $200 million transportation bond that would allow widening work to begin in 2022.
Since the bond’s passage, the project has undergone multiple changes and has been delayed, with construction now slated to begin in 2028. The widening is being divided into two phases. Construction from Ga. 9 to Kelly Mill Road is set to start in 2028, followed by Kelly Mill Road to Ga. 20 in 2035.
“Post Road is in desperate need of widening and safety measures put in place,” Levent wrote in a recent letter to GDOT Commissioner Russell McMurry. “More recently, the accidents have increased in the Bentley Road and Pittman Road intersections. There has been a large uproar from the public definitely wanting a solution sooner rather than later…As you [McMurry] know, these improvements for Post Road have been on Forsyth County’s radar for eight to 10 years and we are desperately looking to the state for some relief…”
Levent says he wants to place traffic signals or roundabouts to help move traffic until the widening project occurs.
District 27 state Sen. Greg Dolezal said he hopes that start dates for the project are moved up noting that the slated start date for the widening is “too far out.”
“I am having another meeting with GDOT to see what can be done to drastically move this project up in their planning,” he said. “Shockingly, the price tag to widen this 6-mile-long road is $110 million due to all of the right of way purchase required. Because of this, I have also been in contact with our federal delegation about possible grant funding sources to come alongside GDOT to move the project timeline forward.”
According to Dolezal’s recent constituent update, GDOT has completed a traffic count on Post Road, which includes accident data. He said he hopes the information will prompt GDOT to hasten safety improvements.