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Bridge closure causes safety issues for school bus riders

Some students who live on Cook Road have to travel to a bus stop because of the Cook Road Bridge closure. It has caused the bus route to be altered.

Posted: Oct 27, 2017 4:03 PM
Updated: Oct 27, 2017 4:03 PM

WEST TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - It’s an issue that’s been plaguing families since the end of the last school year, through the start of this one.

Parent Victoria Wagner says, "We figured that it would have gotten attention a lot quicker than it has thus far."

The Cook Road Bridge has been closed since May. That’s when the bridge started washing out due to major flooding.

At Tuesday’s Vigo County Commissioners Meeting, leaders called the bridge an “emergency bridge” that needs to be repaired as soon as possible. That's because the bridge is necessary for daily traffic.

This is causing concern for Wagner about her 15-year-old son who rides the bus.

Wagner says, "It’s been very inconvenient for us as parents that do have children that travel on the bus route to school. They want our children to walk up two- two and a half blocks to the corner here."

Wagner admits walking wouldn't be as big an issue, if it weren't for the layout of the road.

She shares, "There is a hidden hill there, and that hidden hill there's been several times that just us residents coming over that hill have almost hit each other."

The designated bus stop is a decent walk from the students' homes, but travelling to the stop in the dark obviously creates a safety issue.

Grandparent Michelle Wagle says, "Because of it being so dark she was scared to walk through here because of the wooded area and the empty field and we do have a lot of stray animals, dogs that she gets scared of. And, we've had people just kind of walking the road so she was scared to walk it."

The Clear Creek Welcome Center is closed at this point, hopefully cutting down on the number of wandering strangers.

But Michelle Wagle says for the sake of her 11-year-old granddaughter, she'd like results before winter.

Wagle says, "I’m hoping they'll get the bridge fixed for the fact that I did say that like cars come flying through here. And if there's snow, ice on the road, it's hard to say if they come flying through there all of a sudden see the child and swerve, so they endangered themselves, and the child."

Now that the bridge has been declared an emergency, the next step for the county is to look for bids to get the structure fixed. News 10 has reached out to the Vigo County Assistant Engineer to see where the bidding process to fix the bridge stands. We have yet to get a response.

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