There may be relief on the way for parents who face a nightmarish traffic jam when picking their children up from Hopewell School.
First District Commissioner Terry Caywood gave a presentation to the Bradley County Commission on the problem at its Monday workshop.
He noted the long lines of traffic that develop on a daily basis at Freewill Road and Highway 60 as students make their way to and from the campus.
Caywood said the best option to relieve the jams would be to purchase property on the east boundary of the school’s campus, which is owned by Volunteer Electric.
However, he pointed out because it is the school system which would be wanting to augment its property line, it would be the school board that would have to initiate any property purchase.
Caywood said three weeks ago the board began “to initiate relief for this terrible traffic congestion.”
He said a major concern is the impending widening of Highway 60.
“When Highway 60 becomes a five-lane highway, you are backing the traffic onto a five-lane highway,” Caywood explained. “I don’t know how we’ve gotten away with [the current setup] this long.”
He noted the situation now has three major highways tied up “because we can’t go anywhere.”
Caywood explained in order to have the appropriate access to develop a new traffic strategy, “you have to get onto the blueprints of [the Highway 60 project] now.”
He said he had contacted the project manager for the Highway 60 Corridor and was told the school board needed to make the request.
Caywood read the resolution passed by the Bradley County Board of Education requesting the board’s inclusion into the Highway 60 process.
Caywood describe the current situation as “terrible, and it’s not safe.”
Commission Chairman Louie Alford noted many other schools face traffic problems as well.
Caywood did not disagree but added this particular situation “has a window of opportunity.”
There was no certain timeline for when any potential solution to the traffic situation at Hopewell might be functional.