Heavy traffic and carpool lines do not mix for Highland Home School students in Crenshaw County, but that is all changing and it will not cost the county a penny.
Highland Home School's campus sits on highway 331. Each morning and afternoon, parents say traffic is heavy and the road looks like a parking lot. That poses safety hazards for students and young drivers, "It's bumper to bumper, especially during Spring breaks for different places, beach traffic, holidays, it's pretty bad," says Highland Home School parent, Robin Cowles.
Crenshaw County Superintendent, Randy Wilkes, adds, "We had a student that was leaving the gas station down the road there in the back of a pick up truck and he was hit from behind by a semi, and was fortunate to be alive today."
Wilkes wrote Governor Bentley a letter in November about the hazards. The governor announced the state will foot the estimated $200,000 bill for the project. That's the money that will produce a new turn lane, "You know, $200,000 is a lot of money, but in a highway project it's really not a lot of money. And it will save lives and make things a lot more convenient for the parents in that area," says Bentley.
The left han turn lane takes school traffic coming from 331 south onto New Bethel Church Road. The new carpool pattern leads cars through the football stadium entrance, "I think it's a great idea, actually. Being able to reroute everything going a different way I think it's going to be an awesome thing," says Cowles.
Bentley says he hopes the road improvements will be completed by the beginning of the new school year.
Wilkes says at least one accident per year is due to the current traffic patterns.