The school will open on Tuesday, but the road might not.
Students heading to Russell Elementary School on Route 62 may encounter a detour that is a result of road work. A concrete barrier separates the travel lanes from the turn to the school.
The job will create a left-turn lane for southbound traffic. The lane will extend from a point north of the entrance to the school to Woodland Drive.
Times Observer photo by Ben Klein
Construction on Route 62 in front of Russell Elementary School has one entrance to the school blocked off. If the work — installation of a left-turn lane for southbound traffic — is not complete Tuesday, all traffic will have to use the Woodland Drive entrance. School district officials are asking parents to have their children ride school buses if possible, to cut down on congestion.
According to PennDOT officials, the contractor on the job, Glenn O. Hawbaker of State College, expects the work at the intersection to be done next week, hopefully in time for the start of school.
"They want to get it done as soon as they can," Assistant Construction Executive Dax Nulph said.
Just in case, school officials are asking for patience and caution.
"Road construction may not be complete before the start of school," Amy Stewart, Warren County School District director of administrative support services, said. "This will have an impact on traffic flow at Russell Elementary School. All bus and car traffic will be entering and exiting from Woodland Drive."
"In an effort to minimize the amount of traffic, we want to encourage parents to have their children ride the school bus, if possible," Stewart said.
The lack of the direct bus outlet onto Route 62 would add to congestion in the school's parking area and driveway.
"Parents who need to drop off and pick up their children from school should pay careful attention to the appropriate signage and traffic pattern in the parking lot," Stewart said. "No parking zones are marked and need to be clear in order to allow for efficient traffic flow of both cars and buses."
Drivers are asked not to pull up in front of the school to wait for their children. "Parents waiting to pick up students should park in the lined parking spaces," Stewart said. "The oval car driveway is designed to be utilized as a single car entry-exit. Cars should not park in this area or pass other cars as this creates a dangerous situation for the students."
Parents should walk to the front of the school to pick up and drop off their children, then return to their vehicles to enter traffic.
If the work is not done, the construction crew will have flaggers at key points to assist with traffic flow, Nulph said.
"The district is working with PennDOT and the Pennsylvania state police to monitor and direct traffic," Stewart said.
Once the barrier is down, traffic will be able to access both turns. Pavement painting and other work will require that sections of the road be closed on an intermittent basis, Nulph said.