City of Griffin revising downtown planter box design and placement

SHEILA A. MATHEWS :::

The city of Griffin’s downtown Living Centers Initiative design is being revised with the replacement of some its large planter boxes.

“Hill and Taylor (streets) are the only ones being redone,” said City Manager Kenny Smith. “If you’ll recall, one of the planter boxes got hit by a vehicle. They’re just making those radiuses a little bigger for trucks to be able to make the turn without tearing down the flower boxes.”

Smith said the design revision is necessary to prevent future damage.

“I think the Taylor Street one had only been hit once, and the corner of Solomon and Hill (streets) was hit one time, too, but it’s not being changed. But Hill and Taylor (streets), after it got hit, we realized that the turn radiuses probably weren’t big enough for those trucks, so we petitioned GDoT (the Georgia Department of Transportation) to redo the turn radiuses. Because both of those are state highways, we had to get their approval.”

Asked if GDoT had approved the initial design, including the turn radiuses that were insufficient for truck travel, Smith said, “They did. They have to approve everything.”

The GDoT has approved the revised planter box radiuses and Smith is hopeful the work will soon be completed which will allow the project to proceed.

“They just came back to work, I think it was the last few days,” Smith said. “They’re trying to get it done so we can get to paving before it gets too cold for asphalt. The paving is the very last thing.”

In a July interview after one planter box was struck and damaged by a tractor trailer, Smith said the city of Griffin has for years been requesting GDoT reroute State Route 155 and he finds it “absurd” that has not been approved.

Smith then said he anticipated ongoing issues with large trucks travelling through downtown and said that other large vehicles such as fire engines and school buses may also have difficulty navigating the turns. Prior to the decision to revise the planter box placement and size, Smith had suggested those vehicles “be slow and careful” and take alternate routes if necessary.

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