After the first couple days of school in Hilliard, students are getting to their classes on time and safely through the Triangle Project, according to district and police officials.

After the first couple days of school in Hilliard, students are getting to their classes on time and safely through the Triangle Project, according to district and police officials.

Tim Hamilton, assistant superintendent of operations for Hilliard City Schools, knocked on wood when asked about students going back-to-school amid the construction at Cemetery Road, Scioto Darby Road and Main Street.

"We're getting assistance by the Hilliard Police Department, and that's been very beneficial," Hamilton said. "They help us monitor the traffic, and we've been able to move in and out of our sites very successfully."

City engineers have helped "make sure we had safe crossings for our kids, and we have those marked," Hamilton said. "We have police helping escort those kids across the street. So far, it's worked extremely well."

Changes in bus routes, staggered times and detailed communications with parents have also helped.

Hamilton said the main buildings affected by the Triangle Project are Hilliard Station Sixth Grade, Hilliard Memorial Middle School, Hilliard Heritage Middle School and Hilliard Darby High School, as well as Scioto Darby Elementary School. Hamilton said nearly 4,000 students attend the five schools.

If you don't need to be out during the times kids are going to and from the schools, motorists might want to avoid the extra traffic, Hamilton said. Bus and pedestrian traffic to and from Darby High, Heritage, Memorial and Station are busiest from 7:10-7:30 a.m. and 2:10-2:30 p.m.; Scioto Darby is busiest from 8:30-9 a.m. and 3:30-4 p.m.

Hamilton recommended students take the bus if they are eligible and urged drivers to be more pedestrian-friendly.

"If they just would use some extra caution and practice some patience as they move through these construction areas and around our school buildings, that would be just perfect. I know people get a little antsy to get through the construction, and it takes a little more time. I'm hoping that the patience will hold with us until the construction gets completed and we're able to get back to more normal types of traffic patterns around our buildings."

Clyde Seidle, director of public service, said at the last city council meeting that "we're working now on the eastern half of the northern roundabout at Cemetery Road. ... The contractor is working aggressively to try to see that that can be reopened to traffic sometime in September. The schools continue to attend our progress meetings and kept abreast of what's happening as things are changing. We're on track, and if the weather holds out, hopefully we'll get that northern roundabout at Main and Cemetery open sooner than we anticipate."

In the meantime, police will monitor the area.

"We have a plan we have coordinated with the schools," said Mayor Don Schonhardt at the council meeting. "We'll have plenty of public safety personnel out there at the opening of school. It goes to that relearning process that we have to go through every fall. We will help people understand that certain things simply will not be tolerated and the safety of the motoring pedestrian public is paramount."

"The mayor has made it very clear to me that we will use all of our resources possible and commit to whatever it takes to maintain the safety of the traffic moving through there," said police chief Doug Francis. "As long as there's a need out there, we'll have people out there."

Francis said he has been pleased with how smooth traffic has flowed so far.

"We've definitely been out there in force and been extremely visible," Francis said. "We haven't seen a spike in tickets being written out there for the simple fact that our presence has been so heavy. You drive by there any time, you'll see several police cars, and the police officers in their bright yellow vests. That in itself just reminds the public that this is a school zone - you've got to drive carefully."

For updates, visit www.cityofhilliard.com and click on the Hilliard Triangle Project link.