Road Work Keeps Kids on Bus - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

Road Work Keeps Kids on Bus

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CHENEYVILLE, La. - Kids all over Cenla will tell you, school days are long days. But for one community in Rapides Parish, the bus ride is making it even longer.

News Channel 5's Kathleen Witte visited Cheneyville today to find out why it's taking students nearly an hour to get to school this year.  

When Dwayne Irwin puts his three kids on the bus every morning, he knows it'll be a while until they get to school.

Dwayne Irwin, Cheneyville resident: "I have a second grader, first grader, and pre-K. And they're having to ride an hour extra on the bus each day."

That's because this street, Cheneyville Echo Road, is shut down for bridge construction. Up to eight buses that get the Cheneyville kids to Poland schools, now have to take a detour--a 45-minute detour.

Irwin: "Pretty frustrating. We're pretty patient people, but when your children have to get up extra early in the morning time and get off a little bit later in the evening time, it's pretty aggravating."

And Irwin says, the project has lasted much longer than promised.

Irwin: "It was supposed to finish before school let in. But it keeps getting pushed back. We keep hearing different things."

DOTD engineers say it was supposed to be a 90-day project, but they decided to fix two bridges on this road. And while one will be completed soon, the other won't be finished until January, making this road impassible for that much longer.

Steve Buskie, DOTD project engineer: "If you do them both at the same time then you're going to have to require more people, more equipment, and that would drive up the construction cost."

Steve Buskie says, still, he understands residents' concerns, but in the end, it'll be worth the wait.

Buskie: "But I imagine two buses crossing on this old timber bridge at one time might have been a very interesting experience. But now on these new, wider concrete bridges it will be much safer to cross, And of course other traffic, truck traffic, farm traffic, you name it. It will be much better for everybody in that area."

Dwayne Irwin says, he's just looking for a little consistency, a few answers about when things will wrap up, and definitely, some faster construction.

Irwin: "I hope they get busy. I'd like to see some people out here doing some things."

The project is funded by a grant from the federal government of nearly one million dollars.

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