City Contractor Puts Drivers at Risk

Watch out! Drivers at Risk on Johns Creek roads. Not only do you have to watch out for potholes, now you need to look for Mowers in the median without notice! No cones, no signs, no trucks on site or anywhere around – alerting you of there presence.

Wednesday afternoon, while driving down Medlock Bridge Rd, a Mower in the median came out of nowhere! He swung around a bush and drove partially onto the curb as I, and many others were driving by. Yikes!

This wasn’t the first or second time this has happened to me in Johns Creek. We had a few minutes to spare, and drove around the median and verified there wasn’t any signage or cones. No landscaping trucks in sight either. We took this photo after the Mower finished.

Optech: Drivers at Risk?
Forget about Potholes. Watch out for Random Mowers!

Who does the Mowing?

Optech - Johns Creek
Official Optech Website – Johns Creek ROW Workers

The City of Johns Creek outsources the Right of Way Maintenance, Landscaping and Mowing to Optech Monette. One has to wonder if Optech is subcontracting the job out? Is this why the truck is not parked anywhere in view?

The RFP went out to bid in 2015. Optech was re-awarded a contract. Optech’s bid was $1.2 Million More for Mowing than another bid by Georgia Management Agency whose references were adequately good.

Optech Monette, the only lawn mowing ROW service provider the City of Johns Creek has ever used. Optech self-cited an “Excellent Working relationship” for the reason taxpayers to pay significantly more. Even though they did Not score “Excellent” in the proposal by City Staff, but “good”.

Contract

The contract Renewed/Extended in December 2018 without rebid. On Optech’s website, they have a photo of their workers in Johns Creek. Plenty of Traffic Safety Measures: Signs, Cones and multiple workers.

Below are screenshots from the RFP the City of Johns Creek issued for the ROW landscaping contract. The Bidders had to agree to these terms.

Termination could be given for cause or reasonably could cause, life, health or safety to be jeopardized.

Optech Johns Creek ROW

Recently, an asphalt worker was hit by a car and died in Lovejoy, Georgia. Very tragic.

Termination for Cause is another stipulation. Contractors need to comply with all laws, local, state and federal. Considering it is a GDOT road, it is highly likely that Georgia DOT and Federal OSHA laws should be in complied with.

Optech Johns Creek ROW -2

Mowing ahead sign
Mowing ahead sign

 

According to the National Work Zone Safety Information Clearinghouse, safety measures and precautions should have been put in place. Temporary traffic controls are important when laboring in close proximity to traffic.

  • Mowing Ahead
  • Men Working Ahead

Finally, they outline 7 principles that include, Planning for traffic safety & Minimize interference with traffic flow. In addition, use appropriate traffic control devices such as cones or portable sign support & Maintaining roadside safety throughout the project.

Whose at Risk?

Have you seen Right of Way Mowing without notice?

How can Drivers take extra precautions when Workers are Around if there is no notice to let them know to be on the lookout?

Not only are Drivers at Risk, but so are Taxpayers. If there is an accident, victims could sue the City for not taking safety precautions. Training, Protocols, and Monitoring should be in place if it is not already.

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3 thoughts on “City Contractor Puts Drivers at Risk”

  1. Replying to a reader’s email:
    The speed limit is 55 on Medlock Bridge Rd. It drops to 45 at State Bridge Rd intersection.
    You cannot see his safety vest when he was behind the machine and in between the bushes further down where he was working, where it initially occurred. Because he only has a few feet to maneuver, he came onto the curb and there could have been a collision.
    The photo was taken when he was done.

  2. Those guys have been out there riding in the back of a truck at full speed and without day glow safety vests on too.

    At one point earlier this year they were blowing debris out into moving traffic putting huge clouds of dust up and creating a major traffic hazard.

    Both of these incidents were reported to the city.

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