Ronnie Hall, engineer for the city’s street department, said the city’s goal was to finish the construction in front of Conway High School by the end of the week, but the consistent rainfall has prevented that.
Hall said not only is it hard to forecast what the weather might do, but it is also hard for him to predict what his contractor has planned.
“It is possible to finish before school starts if the weather allows and the contractor approaches it in that manner,” he said.
The construction on Farris Road leading into the Conway High School parking lot is finished, but the portion of Prince Street in front of the school, between Western Avenue and Morningside Drive, still needs the final asphalt surface course, Hall said.
According to Hall, this process would require at least two days of asphalt paving.
Conway High School Principal Joel Linn said the Prince Street construction has not been a major issue for the school.
“We are entering the second year of dealing with the construction, and we have not encountered any real problems outside of some delays when traffic is stopped for construction purposes,” he said.
Although the paving process would be taking place during school hours, Hall assures the construction will not effect traffic when students arrive at 8 a.m. or when they are dismissed at 3:15 p.m.
“The paving would be taking place during school hours, but it does not stop traffic,” Hall said. “Traffic would flow around the paving process.”
Linn said he can move student traffic through the clear exits on the west and north sides of campus away from the construction on Prince Street.
“On a normal day, our parking lot is clear within 10 to 15 minutes of the end of school,” he said.
Conway High School has eight staff members who supervise traffic each day to insure student drivers are safe.
LaTresha Woodruff, public information officer for the Conway Police Department, said once school starts, traffic division officers will patrol school zones to make sure drivers are following traffic laws and the traffic is moving in the mornings and afternoons.
Hall said Conway High School students have adapted well to the roundabouts.
“We have found that they are more alert than most folks when maneuvering the roundabouts,” he said.
Ed Dow, transportation supervisor for Conway Public Schools, said 300 to 400 Conway High School students rely on school busses for transportation, but most drive themselves to school.
School bus drivers have noticed traffic moves much quicker as a result of the roundabouts, he said.
Once complete, Prince Street will be a four lane road with a center median from Western Avenue to Shady Lane with three roundabouts where Prince intersects Salem Road, Morningside Drive and Farris Road.
The project will allow people to enter and leave Conway High School’s campus more quickly, Hall said, and maneuver up and down Prince Street more efficiently.
“As far as safety is concerned it is safer now than when the project started even though it is not complete,” he said.
With portions of Prince Street still under construction at the start of school, Hall reminds everyone to be safe.
“People need to drive safely through the construction zone and be considerate to the workman, and workman should be considerate to the traffic,” he said.
(Staff writer Michelle Corbet can be reached by email at email@example.com or by phone at 505-1215. To comment on this and other stories in the Log Cabin, log on to www.thecabin.net. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit)