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Paving interrupts school bus pickup

A paving project on Sugar Creek Road blocked buses from picking up school children.

The students had to meet the buses at another location down the road on Wednesday.

To make sure it doesn't happen again, work on the project will start after buses have picked up students and wind down before buses return in the afternoons.

"We don't anticipate having this problem in the future, but we'll continue to monitor the situation," City Manager David Molgaard said. "And if it does happen again, we'll take appropriate action." 

The situation arose because employees with J.F. Allen Co. are removing sewer lines from the creek and burying them near the road. The employees were paving the road after installing the sewer lines.

The problem occurred Wednesday morning when buses were unable to make it up the road to pick up students, said George Beckett, transportation director for the county school system.

The problem has been corrected, and buses should be moving up and down Sugar Creek unimpeded today. Buses also were able to make it back up the road Wednesday afternoon, Beckett said. 

"The contractor (J.F. Allen Co.) won't start paving the road until the buses have run in the morning, and they'll stop paving in the afternoon to let the buses through," he said. 

Beckett was unsure how many children were affected but estimated it would have not been enough to fill one whole school bus. 

The students are bused to Flinn Elementary, Sissonville Middle and Sissonville High schools, he said.

Nancy Hamilton, a clerk with Flinn Elementary, said the school had not received any calls from parents whose children were unable to attend class because of the blocked road.

"I do know of one parent that had to bring their child in, and they were a little late," Hamilton said. "They were about five minutes late.

"This doesn't seem like that big of a deal."

Sissonville Middle Principal Brian Eddy also reported no calls from parents or absences due to the situation.

Parents were able to bring their children to a bus stop below the construction zone where they could be picked up, Eddy said.

"But it was inconvenient," he said.

The entire road was not blocked, and smaller vehicles could navigate around the equipment used to pave the road, Beckett said. But the buses were too large to do so.

Sissonville High Principal Ron Reedy received no word of students being unable to attend classes because of the blocked road.

"There were a couple of students that were late because of it," he said.

The students will not be counted as tardy since they were late because of the bus situation.

Bill Kirk, a Republican on Charleston Council who represents that area of North Charleston, could not be reached for comment.

Kirk has criticized the sewer project in the past, claiming that it makes the road unsafe.

Contact writer Paul Fallon at paul.fallon@dailymail.com or 304-348-4817. Follow him at www.twitter.com/PaulBFallon. 

 


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