Commissioners on Tuesday unanimously approved making the skewed intersection of Woodstock Road and Victory Drive a three-way stop, at the request of the family of Tiffany Robbins.
A recently completed third-party study recommended a roundabout — which is being planned for the future — but the stop signs are going up in the meantime.
At the suggestion of Commissioner Jason Nelms, who represents the area not far from Hobgood Park, the spot will also be named for Robbins, a homemaker and an Etowah High graduate, who left behind her husband, Anthony Robbins, and their 2-year-old daughter, Malaya.
“I promised these people we were going to do this,” Nelms said after the meeting. “This has been a tough one. This has been hard on my heart. Sixty days ago (they) had my word I was going to do something, and I think this is the most cost-effective, safest thing we could do.”
Robbins’ aunt, Judy Beale, who led the charge to make the changes, said the family was comforted the county heard their cries for action.
“I think that with them acting and with them hearing our pleas, it gives us a little bit of closure,” Beale said. “If it will save me or you or other family members, then we’ve done our duty to Tiffany’s memory. This is being done to save other people, other children and other family members, because we hurt every single day. Anthony and Malaya, they drive past that intersection four or five times a day.”
Beale and other members of Robbins’ family began pushing the county to add two stop signs at the intersection where, authorities said, the 26-year-old drove into the path of a pickup. She died at the hospital later the same day. The other driver wasn’t charged. An emergency Cesarean section wasn’t able to save the baby, authorities said.
In March, commissioners approved hiring research firm Kimley-Horn & Associates for $10,900 to perform a study into the best solutions to improve the intersection.
Nelms said the results came back recommending the roundabout, which is being planned for a future date as Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax dollars allow. In the meantime, he said the county wanted to put up the stop signs to be proactive in addressing the safety concerns.
“The cost will be three stop signs,” he added. “We may have three stop signs in the barn now. There may not be any cost, other than labor to put them up.”
A small cost to help the family, Nelms said.
Also, during the meeting, the commission:
• Unanimously approved a grant of $40,736 for the DUI and drug treatment court, with a 10 percent local match;
• Unanimously approved a grant for state accountability court in the amount of $112,693, with a 10 percent local match;
• Voted unanimously to pay $149,800 to Reynolds-Warren Equipment Co. for an asphalt distributor for the roads and bridges department, with the money coming from Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax revenues;
• Unanimously approved paying Wade Ford $55,829 for a 2015 Ford F-750XL fuel/service truck for the roads and bridges department;
• Voted unanimously to give a contract to Kenneth Nix in the amount of $46,147 for the design and construction of a 2.3-mile bike and running trail around the Roger D. Garrison Law Enforcement Training Center;
• Voted unanimously to sell the county’s trolley to the Woodstock Downtown Development Authority for $15,000; and
• Unanimously approved a construction contract with Lewallen Construction for the Woodstock Trails Bridge over Noonday Creek to connect the Woodstock Dog Park to Woodstock Trails in the total amount of $500,000.