Message boards, email blasts and old-fashioned seat-of-the-pants navigation are helping Marysville school bus drivers get through several road construction sites.
The Ohio Department of Transportation is starting a resurfacing project on a section of U.S. Route 33 and the entrance and exit ramps to the highway between state Route 36 and state Route 245 on the west side and Watkins Road on the east side of Marysville.
Other area construction projects include replacing the state Route 4 bridge over Route 33 and safety improvements on the ramp from U.S. Route 33 west to state Route 31 north. That 30-day project begins May 6 but access to the ramp from U.S. Route 33 to state Route 31 was cut off earlier than expected to accommodate bridge painting on state Route 4.
The Marysville school district typically uses a software system called Versatrans to plan regular routes for its buses. Director of Business Services Mike White said the drivers work out their own ways around construction and so far, things have been going smoothly.
Superintendent Diane Mankins agreed.
"I don't believe that we have seen any delays. I really don't think it was a huge problem for us at all," she said.
Staying on top of the constant changes and traffic problems might get tricky at times, according to Marysville City Administrator Terry Emery.
"There are going to be daily modifications occurring," he said. "There are going to be other announcements that we're going to be getting out as quickly as we can, and other modifications, and we're going to use the resources we have."
The city and ODOT have put up message boards, and Marysville schools have used an email blast to communicate with parents.
"We are hoping we can reroute as needed with minimal impact, but we would like to ask you to please be patient with us, as there certainly could be unforeseen delays in morning pick-ups and afternoon drop-offs as we adjust," the email stated.
Marysville Mayor John Gore said the construction inconvenience will pay off in the end.
"For many years, we went without any ODOT money, without any input in this community, without infrastructure improvement, and now we're in good favor and we're able to get some of those things done," he said. "We need to work with them on it."
Anyone with questions about school district transportation can call the transportation office at 937-644-1766 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.