59/20 bridge project impact on school bus routes

Schools concerned about buses during I-59/20 bridge project

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - The 59/20 bridges will be shutdown Monday night. Local school systems are keeping a close eye on traffic impact of the construction in an effort to make sure their kids get to school and home safely.

In Birmingham, there are no changes to routes or pickup times. Birmingham school buses do not travel on the interstate with students. Drivers are being asked to come in 15 minutes earlier to avoid being late because of traffic congestion. Routes might be altered if traffic slows down buses. School employees are also being asked to carpool or ride share to cut down on congestion.

Birmingham City Schools released the following statement, in part, regarding school buses:

“In response to the I-59/20 downtown closure, Birmingham City Schools has not currently made any changes to bus routes, bus pick-up times or school start times. However, district administrators will closely monitor traffic conditions after the closure to identify issues impacting students and schools that may arise."

In Hoover, their buses travel the entire area to various events other than schools. A school spokesman said they must now make alternative plans to go downtown.

“Depending on how the rerouting of traffic from downtown affects us as a school system and react accordingly,” Jason Gaston said.

There is concern about increased traffic being diverted on to I-459. Gaston says buses using the interstate to go to school could be rerouted.

Hoover Mayor Frank Brocato said the police will step up patrols of I-459 as vehicles seek to bypass downtown Birmingham. “The fact all these cars are being diverted on 459 increases everything for us. We are ready for it,” Brocato said.

School systems are prepared to make changes to their plan if they have to as more information about the shutdown becomes available.

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