I-85 collapse places priority on new routes
In the wake of the collapse of a section of I-85 in Atlanta, DeKalb County School District (DCSD) is addressing transportation issues facing students and teachers in the district.
DeKalb County schools were one of the first school districts to announce that all schools would be closed on March 31, the day after a section of the arterial road collapsed in midtown Atlanta, stating traffic delays may divert daily school schedules.
“The collapse of a portion Interstate 85 northbound near Georgia 400 on Thursday evening is expected to significantly impair travel in DeKalb County and for DCSD school buses, leading to traffic delays,” reads a statement from the district. “By taking its buses off the road, the district hopes to reduce its impact on the roads on a day where many drivers will be forced to take alternate routes.”
Superintendent Stephen Green said the decision was made after careful evaluation and that students would not be able to transport students efficiently. Fortunately, students were already scheduled to miss school April 3 through April 7 for Spring Break.
“With one day before Spring Break begins, the prudent decision is to keep students at home and not contribute to difficult travel conditions.”
DCSD spokesman Andre Riley said long-term implications include redrawing bus routes, a process the school partakes in at the beginning of each school year. He said pickup times will also be adjusted for expected traffic, especially with end-of-the-year testing coming in late April and early May.
“We’ll have to redraw the bus routes as if I-85 doesn’t exist in that area,” Riley said. “We may have to take a similar approach into next school year.”
Riley said a team headed by Chief Operations Officer Josh Williams met the morning of March 31 and will continue to meet throughout Spring Break to assess options and make a final recommendation.
“Re-routing will take center stage,” Riley said.
For updates, Riley advises parents, teachers and community members to regularly check www.dekalbschoolsga.org.
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