Crews are set to begin next month construction of a roundabout in Brookhaven Heights as part of a controversial traffic calming plan put into motion three years ago by residents seeking relief from cut through traffic.

The acute intersection of Colonial Drive at Oglethorpe Avenue will be reconfigured as a roundabout in October. (City of Brookhaven)

The Brookhaven City Council approved a $103,024 contract to CMEC LLC at its Sept. 26 meeting to build the roundabout at Colonial Drive and Oglethorpe Avenue. Construction is slated to start at the first of October and be finished in one month. Construction will include using the city’s existing right of way, Public Works Director Hari Karikaran said.

The roundabout is part of the traffic calming plan approved by the council in 2016. Residents filed a petition with the city asking for measures including more speed bumps and signs limiting access into the neighborhood from commuters driving through the neighborhood to avoid heavy congestion on North Druid Hills Road.

Other measures approved and already implemented include prohibiting turns into the neighborhood from North Druid Hills Road onto Standard Drive and Thornwell Drive during peak morning hours from 6 to 9 a.m. The approved plan also prohibits right turns on Pine Grove Road from North Druid Hills Road during the afternoon peak hours, 4 to 7 p.m.

Several Brookhaven Heights residents petitioned the city for traffic calming measures after an 18 month process that included getting more than 65 percent of residents to sign on to their plan. But when there proposals, including partial road closures became public, some residents living in the neighborhood and surrounding neighborhoods spoke out against the petition, saying it only moved heavy traffic from some streets to other streets.

The debate before the council raged for months before the council eventually voted in August 2016 to approve a plan that Mayor John Ernst likened to “splitting the baby.”

Councilmember Bates Mattison said at the Sept. 26 council meeting the roundabout will be a big help in addressing traffic problems in the neighborhood. “And it shows that we listen to our citizens,” he said.

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Dyana Bagby

Dyana Bagby is a staff writer for Reporter Newspapers and Atlanta Intown.