The Copperas Cove Independent School District will change Martin Walker Elementary School drop-offs and pickups this school year because of the U.S. Highway 190 bypass construction.
“Ultimately, it is safer for our students to not be by that construction,” said Deputy Superintendent Richard Kirkpatrick.
The district will move the bus pickup and drop-offs to the front of the school to accommodate for construction on Farm-to-Market 3046 that is part of the U.S. 190 project.
Student pickup and drop-off will move to Miranda Avenue on the side of the school.
To facilitate increased traffic on Miranda, the city plans to place “no parking” signs and turn the roadway into a one-way street between Patricia and Henry streets from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day, Kirkpatrick said.
Parents will be instructed to take Hughes Avenue to access Patricia and Miranda and leave the school using Henry Street, he said.
“It is going to take some getting used to for everyone,” Kirkpatrick said. “It is a new route for all of us.”
Texas Department of Transportation contractors will be impacting the area around the school because of the U.S. 190 construction, but the decision to move traffic was made by the school system, said Ken Roberts, a TxDOT spokesman.
“It was their decision, because we were going to work around the existing drop-off points, but they were pretty close to the right of way,” Roberts said. “The changes may be safer for the parents and the children.”
Plans for FM 3046 stated the road will get repaved. A drainage culvert also will be constructed in the area, and waterlines are already being relocated.
Because of construction, the make-shift dirt parking lot parents used is already not available for vehicles and will remain that way after the project is completed.
“Parents (and visitors) can’t park in front of the school,” Kirkpatrick said, noting the area will be curbed once the construction is completed.
One benefit of the project is a dedicated turn lane the school can turn into its drop-off point, Kirkpatrick said.
Construction around the school was supposed to be completed by the end of summer, but Kirkpatrick said it was probably a couple of months out.
He said the changes were just a temporary solution and added he hoped the district could revert back to the older drop-off locations after the winter break.
The district will reroute several bus travel schedules because turns from Courtney Lane on FM 116 are not safe for buses, Kirkpatrick said.
“Courtney Lane is almost a bigger issue for us,” he said.
“Buses will have to pull out and swing out into incoming traffic.”
Buses will be diverted to avoid FM 116, but routes, pickup and drop-off locations were not reconfigured by Wednesday.