School district changes bus routes after I-65 bridge closure in Lafayette

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LAFAYETTE, Ind. (August 11, 2015)-- There are new safety concerns in Tippecanoe County as school buses will be sharing the road with diverted interstate traffic come Wednesday morning.

The dangerous situation is blamed on the shutdown of the I-65 northbound bridge in Lafayette and its resulting detours.

“The main thing in this situation is we don’t want to get anyone hurt,” said Greg Haltom, Director of Transportation with Tippecanoe School Corporation.

Haltom and other staff are advising parents and students the first day of school will bring a unique set of challenges.

Detours for the I-65 bridge closure cut right through the district, and staff already have warnings up on their website.

Fourteen bus routes will be affected in the morning, and nine in the afternoon. The district is advising parents to expect a 10-15 minute delay and possibly even longer. Bus drivers are alerting parents of the more than 600 students that will be affected.

“We’ve been entrusting them to call their folks and let them know, give them a ball park estimate of what the time will be like,” said Haltom.

Haltom said some buses will be rerouted because they usually take the interstate, but others will be picking up and dropping off students on now-heavily congested detour routes, like State Road 28.

“That’s the biggest thing, is hoping everyone takes their time and understands we are in the middle of it along with them,” he said.

It’s not just school buses feeling the pain. Megabus said Tuesday its route traveling to Chicago from Indianapolis is experiencing delays.

“We’re letting them know to expect between a thirty and sixty minute delay. It could get a little shorter. It could be a little longer. It obviously depends on the situations of traffic,” said Sean Hughes, Director of Corporate Affairs, for Megabus North America.

In a statement, Greyhound said they are rerouting schedules to and from Chicago, including 12 schedules in both directions through the week and 14 on weekends, with a 30-minute to one hour delay projected.

It’s proof that big buses and big trucks are traveling rural roads.

“We have to put our faith in the driving public,” said Haltom.

The district said they’re working with sheriff’s deputies and Indiana State Police to provide increased patrols as buses pick up and drop off along detour routes on Wednesday.

 

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