Concerns regarding school bus stops along River Watch Parkway expansion

COLUMBIA COUNTY, GA. (WJBF) - As crews in Columbia County work to finish up work on River Watch Parkway by December, the zigs and the zags drivers are forced to make are constantly changing. Not just for regular drivers but for school bus drivers too.

"Even as we're going into that time of conclusion, our drivers are always very careful."

Columbia County Bus Manager Donna Hattaway says as progress is being made, medians have recently become part of the project as well as created a problem when it comes to picking up your kids and dropping them off safely and on time.

"With the median going in, it's causing some stops to be changed, the order of stops, because they can only turn at certain roads now," says Hattaway.

Right now, bus drivers are working to get all of the exact stops worked out, until those stops change again as construction on the medians continue. According to the BOE, keeping families in the loop is a priority.

"They will be notifying parents if there are any changes. We try to keep all parents notified of any changes in times."

Problems bus drivers are also having are navigating through construction barrels.

"The issue that we're running into now is that there are a lot of large barrels around and because of that, it prohibits them from making turns they would normally make."

Hattaway says because of that, parents may see buses using a different route to get to their home.

If you've driven on River Watch Parkway, chances are you've noticed many homes don't have much of a yard.

"We would like motorists to realize that on River Watch Parkway that people's homes...their driveways dump directly on to River Watch Parkway and our drivers are stopping at those driveways."

Hattaway adds those stops are frequent.

"Be aware that our buses see those patterns, they know what's going on and when you see us with the eight way lights on making a stop, prepare to stop."

Columbia County's school bus transportation office also wants to remind you that this isn't the only place construction is taking place so please continue to drive with caution on your daily commute during school bus hours.

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