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Detour already causing headaches

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By Cindy DiFazio

Staff writer/photographer

Even before school starts, traffic on Cardinal Drive in front of Campbellsburg Elementary School has become a headache.

Officials expect that headache could worsen once school starts.

Tuesday morning HCPS Superintendent Tim Abrams met with project engineers and local officials to discuss Campbellsburg Elementary School traffic problems due to bridge construction on U.S. 421/Kentucky 55.

Bridge replacement has detoured traffic onto Cardinal Drive in front of the school causing big headaches for commuters and big concerns for parents and educators preparing for the beginning of school.

Abrams said he and Henry County Judge Executive John Logan Brent, Campbellsburg Mayor Jan Fletcher, HCPS Transportation Director Bruce Gentry, HCPS Director of Student Services Denise Perry and Campbellsburg Principal Mark Johnson met with engineers to iron out problems.

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has promised three flagmen to assist with bus traffic at both ends of the street, Abrams said.

At the Board of Education’s Monday meeting Abrams also expressed concern about untrimmed trees that hang over the railroad tracks. Buses will have to cross those tracks twice daily.

“In the last seven years we haven’t had a bus on those tracks,” he said. “There’s no way to bypass that. The buses will have to swing way out to miss trees hanging in the road.”

Tuesday morning, Abrams said the limbs would be trimmed.

Additionally, every bus driver must follow procedures for crossing tracks. “They have to stop, open the doors, quiet the kids and listen,” Abrans said. “There is no way to remedy that. We are going to block traffic with every bus.”

Board of Education chairman Donnie Tipton asked if there would be a conflict with local train schedules, but member Harold Bratton said there is no schedule.

Bratton said he has not yet seen the train tracks blocked, noting that so far drivers have been waiting for other motorists to get across before driving onto the tracks.

On Tuesday Abrams said Chris Sloane, an engineer with the KTC, assured him Team Contracting personnel will maintain radio contact with CSX to monitor train traffic.

He said though many residents have expressed the wish that the tracks could be smoothed, that will not happen yet. “Unfortunately, they would have to close the crossing to work on it,” Abrams said.

While the time table for the bridge project gave a September 1 completion date, residents should expect it to take a bit longer. “We’re hopeful for Sept. 1,” Abrams said, “but realistically I think we’re looking at mid-September.”

Abrams admits commuters’ composure may be tested.

“I want to urge parents to be patient and work with flagmen and officers,” he said.

Fletcher pledged a Campbellsburg officer will be on hand to help direct traffic. School resource officer, Mike Lucas also will be present to help out for at least the first few days.

Bratton said people are going to have to take it slow. “The speed limit needs to slow to 25,” he said.

Abrams said while limits will not be altered, speeding concerns are being addressed. Gentry said the state will erect signage and flashing lights approaching Cardinal Drive from I-71.

“They are still seeing some semi-truck traffic,” Abrams said, “so they’re working with the Kentucky State Police to enforce (the detour) and curb some of that.”

He said he hoped parents of children attending Campbellsburg Elementary would work with friends and neighbors to ease the burden. “If they could carpool it would be great,” he said.

Abrams said families can expect a call a few days prior to the start of school from the system’s One-Call system.

“We do plan to use our One-Call service to give parents direction and helpful hints,” Abrams said, “to make the drive as stress-free as possible.”

During Monday’s Campbellsburg City Council meeting, police chief Glen Woods requested additional, temporary signage for the street focusing on speed limits, as well as asking drivers not to park on Cardinal Drive.

 

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