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Bus routes changed on two roads

by Larry S. Chowning

Middlesex County School officials announced this week that new bus routes are in place on Healy’s Road and Philpot Road at Locust Hill, and buses also will pick up children at Healy’s Trace Way.

For the last several months, residents of Healy’s Road have voiced concern about the condition of the road, which they say is too narrow and dangerous, has no posted speed limit or “Bus Stop Ahead” warning signs, and no roadway lane markings.

School superintendent Rusty Fairheart said the reason for the bus route changes that were made two years ago on Philpot Road was the increased traffic caused by VDOT’s closing of a portion of Stormont Road across Healy’s Mill Pond. This portion of road was closed to traffic in 2006 because the dam under the road was determined unsafe by VDOT inspectors.

“We decided then to make one bus route in that area and it did not include going down Philpot Road, but we have since surveyed the situation and decided to adjust the route so buses will drive on Philpot to the elementary school,” said Fairheart. 

Fairheart noted this change will add an additional 4 to 5 miles daily to one route.

In a related issue, school officials have been working closely with VDOT resident engineer Marcie Parker to get new “Bus Stop Ahead” signs installed on both Healy’s and Philpot roads.

When school officials first contacted Parker, they were unaware they had to list 911 address locations as to where the signs needed to be placed.  “This slowed down the entire process until we were told VDOT needed that information,” said Fairheart. 

“We are certainly in support of signs on the roads, and we have provided highway officials with the locations we feel best will support our needs,” he said. “Now, it’s up to them to approve them,” said Fairheart.

Parker confirmed last week that three signs had been recommended by Middlesex school officials, and the request has been sent to VDOT engineers in Fredericksburg for consideration.

posted 09.30.2009

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