Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Narrow Roadway Slated for Widening

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Narrow Roadway Slated for Widening

Article excerpt

If a heavy truck and a school bus travel toward each other on

Yellow Water Road, one of the drivers had better play chicken.

If one doesn't pull over to the edge of the road, the result

may be a decapitated side-view mirror or a broken windshield

from flying debris, say drivers who regularly travel the

meandering Westside route.

The problem is that the twolane road isn't wide enough to

accommodate two heavy vehicles without a precarious game of

dodge-em, residents said. And that happens regularly, they said,

because it's a main route for buses transporting students to and

from Baldwin High School and trucks traveling to a nearby steel

mill.

But help is on the way, said Councilwoman Alberta Hipps, who

represents the area. City officials plan to widen a portion of

the road within the next five months and then set vehicular

weight restrictions.

That comes as welcome news to school bus driver Carolyn

Higginbotham, who switched routes several years ago rather than

continue traveling Yellow Water.

"I feared that I would meet another truck going along one of

those curves, and you know you're responsible for all those

kids," said Higginbotham, one of five drivers to have her bus

mirror knocked off over the years.

Compounding the problem is the fact there are drainage ditches

and potholes along portions of the road where buses pull over to

avoid vehicles with a wide load, several school bus drivers

said.

"We've always had a problem with the road being narrow," said

Debbie Waddell, another school bus driver. "But it seems in the

last six to eight months that the conditions of the road have

started to deteriorate."

The 6-mile road, which goes from Normandy Boulevard to Beaver

Street, offers a semi-rural vista of grazing cows, horses, pine

trees, trailers and brick-and-frame houses. …

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