Schools still seek options; want student needs first

Published 5:00 am Tuesday, April 3, 2001

The Lincoln County School board was presented with few optionsMonday on how to handle the problems resulting from low-weightcounty bridges.

Donald Case, the school district’s transportation director, metwith supervisors Monday morning looking for a solution, but areasonable remedy was not found.

The school district has been faced with the dilemma of how toget around bridges that have weight limits under 13,000 pounds.

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During phone conversations with supervisors, Case said he wastold that some bridges with a 10,000 pound weight limits wereconsidered acceptable. He hoped to get their approval in writing,but was told Monday by supervisors that all the county had to dowas post weight limits, not give permission for school buses tocross the public bridges.

“They will not put anything in writing,” Case told school boardmembers.

Board members were unhappy with the results of the meetingbetween Case and supervisors.

Some members pointed out how log trucks, which can weigh from70,000-100,000 pounds, continue to cross the bridges, possiblycausing further damage. Board members fear that a log truck or anyother heavy weight might weaken the bridges and result in anaccident involving a school bus.

“Are they going to make the log trucks reroute, too?” askedJerry Coon, board secretary.

The board looked at what options were available, since thebridges in question were not going to be repaired for a fewyears.

The only reasonable choice seemed to be rerouting buses orhaving students meet buses in designated areas away from low weightlimit bridges.

Rerouting would be considerably expensive and mean longer ridesfor students and bus drivers. Even though rerouting will probablybe in the district’s future, unless supervisors offer anothersolution, board members were not happy about the inconvenience thatwould result.

“It will be along way for some of them to detour,” said BoardPresident Joann Holmes. “Some kids wouldn’t even have a way if theyhad to meet buses.”

Case was instructed by Perry Miller, superintendent ofeducation, to ask bus drivers for suggestions on rerouting. Casewill present his findings at the next board meeting, which isscheduled for 5:30 p.m. April 23, rather than April 16, because ofEaster holidays.