Nordonia Hills — An inconvenience for motorists may actually make it more convenient for some families to get their children to school in the fall.
The indefinite closure of Ledge Road at the Norfolk Southern Railroad bridge in Macedonia puts some families more than two miles away from their children’s school, meaning the students will be eligible to take the bus, Superintendent Joe Clark said in an email to members of the community Wednesday.
“Because of this closure, some Lee Eaton families on the east side of town will have to take alternate routes to school. This likely will cause many of these families to be further than 2 miles from school, thus qualifying them for school transportation” Clark stated. “This may also impact some families of Middle School and St. Barnabas students, and perhaps even Ledgeview and Northfield students.”
Clark said he and Business Manager Tom Hartman met with Macedonia Mayor Don Kuchta Tuesday to discuss the closure and were told that the road will be closed until repairs to the bridge could be made to make it safe for vehicular traffic.
“However, it appears that this could be a long process,” Clark added.
Clark told the News Leader the district does not have any figures on how many students would be allowed to take the bus, saying it may be some time until the numbers are worked out.
In his email, Clark said the district’s transportation provider, Petermann Ltd., “is currently revising routes to include these affected families.
“We don’t know the total impact yet, but we believe this closure will result in additional transportation costs as the addition of more students could lengthen routes or cause additional routes to be added. If this were going to be a short-term detour, we would not make these adjustments. Because there is no foreseeable end to Ledge Road’s closure, however, we need to prepare for the worst case scenario.”
Clark said families who qualify will be notified by mail.
“We will also let them know that if Ledge Road reopens during the school year, routes will again be revised to the original state minimums,” he said. “Those changes would not take effect until families are given reasonable time to make other transportation arrangements.”
Clark commend Kuchta and his team “for their commitment to ensuring the safety of those who use Ledge Road.”