KINSTON, N.C. (WNCT) – In Lenoir County, commissioners and the North Carolina Department of Transportation are making it safer for children to get to school.
The intersection of NC 11 and Ferrell Road in Lenoir County is where crews are working to make it safer for school buses.
“It does create a problem when a school bus has to stop at a railroad track on a four-lane highway,” said Patrick Holmes, Lenoir County Public Schools.
That’s the issue that’s causing multiple accidents, some involving school buses.
According to North Carolina law, school buses must stop at all railroad tracks, even at an abandoned one near Contentnea – Savannah School.
“When they stopped, the tail of the bus was still hanging out into 11, and that was causing problems,” explained Eric Rouse, Lenoir County commissioner. “People were having accidents trying to avoid them.”
Concerned parents took to Lenoir County Public Schools and county commissioners to make the area safer.
An exemption was filed, requesting that buses would not need to stop at the railroad track since it’s no longer in service.
Changing the traffic pattern was deemed more appropriate.
Additional space has been added so when buses must stop at the tracks, they can get completely off NC 11 and turn onto Ferrell Road.
The recently updated plan will impact drivers as well.
“If you’re leaving Ferrell Road, you’d have to turn right, go down a little ways, merge to your left, U-turn, and then you can go back towards Greenville,” explained Rouse.
The new traffic pattern makes it safer for kids going to and from school.
“Student safety is paramount with us, and with that, school bus safety is key,” said Patrick Holmes, Lenoir County Public Schools.
“There are children involved, and anytime you can do anything to help children out and make it a little bit safer for them to get to school, that’s a better situation for everybody,” said Rouse.
The construction is expected to be completed by the end of the month, just in time for the school year.