Crews get road open before school starts - WPSD Local 6: Your news, weather, and sports authority

Crews get road open before school starts

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School starts on Wednesday in Livingston County, and road crews worked to reopen a road so buses can get students there safely.

The main school affected by the two road closures is South Livingston Elementary School on Kentucky 937/Cutoff Road. Cutoff Road was closed last week after damage was found on the Lee Creek Bridge.

Before the closure, drivers used Cutoff Road as a detour for Kentucky 453, which is closed south of Smithland for a culvert replacement project. With the road closed, anyone traveling to the elementary school from Ledbetter or Smithland would have to take highway 70 to a back road, adding up to 20 minutes to their drive. That's why crews with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet are working to replace the bridge 

Transportation Cabinet spokesman Keith Todd says it has reopened Tuesday night. 

Crews spent days replacing the bridge, and on Tuesday night they worked to put up a guardrail so school buses could be on the road Wednesday morning.

With two of the main roads from Grand Rivers to Smithland closed, Sunnie Gillette has been left taking back roads to school.

"It was really jammed, and you're having to stop and get over. And it's a little scary, honestly," Gillette said.

She says she didn't mind the inconvenience as long as Cutoff Road was open for school buses to get her children to their first day of school.

"It'll be worth it as long as they get there safely," Gillette said

Cutoff Road's closure was originally expected to last a few weeks, which gave Livingston County Schools Superintendent Victor Zimmerman extra, last minute planning to do.

"It's one of those things you're more reactionary to. You don't like to be reactionary. You like to be proactive when it's time to address issues, but there's some you have to react to," Zimmerman said.

Zimmerman says five school buses have already been rerouted with the closure of Kentucky 434. And, if Cutoff Road remained closed, it would reroute seven more buses, affecting 200 students.

Todd says heavy rainfall last month was not something crews could have prepared for.

"Anytime you have that much rainfall in a condensed period of time, you're talking about massive erosion," Todd said.

Another portion of Cutoff Road that was damaged in the storms has also been temporarily replaced. Todd says crews will be working to repair roads throughout the region until winter.

The school district says teachers will be understanding Wednesday if kids taking buses arrive late.

Todd says the speed limit has been reduced to 35 mph on the bridge. He says crews have more work to do on it on Wednesday, so traffic may be reduced to one lane in the middle of the day.

Todd says it will be a few more weeks before KY 435 is reopen, but crews are trying to get it done as soon as possible.

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