Work has started on the paving of Fortson-Compton Road, but the project might take up to a month to complete.
The 1.09-mile dirt road runs right next to Madison County Middle School and serves as the main artery for bus traffic to and from the school.
“Initially, I was told a few days to 10 days for the project and that the road would have to be completely shutdown during that time,” Madison County Schools superintendent Dr. Mitch McGhee said.
“I’m hearing some rumors now that they’re saying it could take up to a month.”
If that’s the case, McGhee said negotiations must be made with the road department for some use of the road because the school system can’t afford to have Fortson-Compton closed for that length of time.
“We’re just going to have to work closely with those folks to see what we can work out,” McGhee said.
With Forston-Compton closed Tuesday afternoon for the first time, all buses and cars were funneled toward the same entrance and exit.
The sheriff’s department placed a deputy at the front of the school to assist with traffic flow.
The process went “remarkably smooth,” McGhee said, given the number of vehicles in one area.
While the traffic flow appears like it can be handled efficiently, it requires about three times the manpower.
“Where we usually have three or four people on duty, we have to have 10 or 11 people on duty,” McGhee said. “And if you do that for an extended period of time, you’re really burning out your folks.”
When the road is finally paved, it will make for cleaner buses. McGhee said there’s a lot of dirt flying around right now with the traffic on Forston-Compton.
“When they run those buses up and down the road, it’s like you’re in a dust storm out West somewhere,” he said. “It was bad.”