Parent: Construction on Highway 278 a Safety Hazard for Students - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

Parent: Construction on Highway 278 a Safety Hazard for Students

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A construction zone became a safety hazard when it took away the turning lane of St. Gregory the Great Catholic School, according to some in Bluffton.

Parents say it's an accident waiting to happen on Highway 278. If you drive down that way, you will probably notice a few additions to the landscape.

Traffic cones guard the entrance to St. Gregory the Great Catholic School, blocking the left turn in and out.  

"It can cause a little bit of anxiety in the morning, for everyone in the car," says parent Tricia Michael. "You have to go way up the road and make a U-turn."

"Essentially, you're having to travel over four lanes of traffic to make a U-turn," says the school's principal, Chris Trotts.  

In order to enter the school, going eastward, a driver must pass the school and turn around through two lanes of heavy traffic. After the road work, there will be an added lane to clear.

There is no deceleration lane to turn into the school, either. Drivers say they brace themselves for a fender-bender each day.

It began as an inconvenience. What started as a headache is now hazardous to families carpooling each day, parents say.

"It's a challenge. It's frightening, getting in and out of the school every day," Michael says.  

"As we're trying to come into a peaceful setting of a church to pray, it can be very tense coming in, and tense coming out," Principal Trott says.

"It's a very significant safety issue for our families," Trott says. "We do have about 75 to 100 cars trying to leave this campus at about 3:00."

Trott says the pastor "submitted a number of letters to Beaufort County, to county council... we also have contacts with SCDOT and we're trying to get some movement towards a deceleration lane."

Trott says there are often officers directing traffic on Sundays for mass. However, he says that's not always practical for school each morning.

Even though the change is only temporary, parents say there must be a better way. However, the construction seems never ending to some, so they only hope change can come sooner rather than later.

"I'm just not sure. I'm hoping somebody will do something before an accident happens here at the school. That would be terrible," Michael says. 


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