“We’re working closely with school officials on this. It could cause some ‘interesting’ dynamics in the flow of traffic on campus,” Public Services Director Kirk Milam said Tuesday during a presentation to the Rome Lions Club.
Click to see Wolf Drive plans.
The $2.9 million road was funded through the 2006 special purpose, local option sales tax.
It runs from North Avenue along undeveloped right of way — much of it donated by property owner Larry Martin — to the parking lot at the rear of the Rome High School and Rome Middle School campus off Veterans Memorial Highway.
Milam said a traffic signal is planned at the North Avenue intersection and a gate will be installed at the school, just past a cul-de-sac where vehicles may turn around.
“It’s designed as a local street with a driveway into the campus,” he said. “There eventually could be development along the road, but the school will control access to its property.”
Contacted after the Lions Club meeting, Rome Schools Superintendent Gayland Cooper said the road would be closed off in the evenings and other times of inactivity.
“It will prevent unnecessary flow-through and parking on our campus,” he said.
Milam still has some calculating left to do, to ensure the second entrance won’t lead to congestion on the internal circular drive between the high and middle schools.
But Cooper said he’s hoping to test out the traffic pattern during the last month or so of classes, which end May 20.
“The first week or two of school is fairly hectic. …We would love to practice the new Wolf Drive before then,” he said.
“The opening of that is much-anticipated by the parents, student and faculty.”
Milam told members of the Lions Club the second access point will provide added safety and security, in case a fast evacuation ever is necessary.
Members also heard crews are completing sections of the South Broad Street corridor pedestrian project, which starts at the South Broad bridge and continues on East Main and 12th streets to Cedar Avenue.
The $2 million SPLOST project includes sidewalks, decorative pavers, period lighting, landscaping and road safety improvements.
Milam said the section by the bridge “will look incomplete for some time” while utilities are moved underground and Mercy Housing Southeast builds a 77-unit senior apartment complex on Etowah Terrace.