County Road 200S will reopen Saturday afternoon after a major improvement project, a prospect that thrills school officials.
The Columbus city engineer’s office announced Thursday that Dave O’Mara Contractors of North Vernon is finishing its work on the $1.6 million project, which widened the road and added a left-turn lane, curbs, gutters, a sidewalk and storm sewer. Although named as a county road, the portion of 200S under construction is in the Columbus city limits.
Karen Wetherald, transportation manager for Bartholomew Consolidated School Corp., said she and the school bus drivers who pass through the area are ecstatic that the project will be done in time for school to start Monday. She said Southside Elementary School, just north of the renovated area, has 13 buses that transport students specifically to that school, but up to 30 buses a day flow through the area because the school district uses Southside as a hub for transfers.
She said that the end of the school year, as work was starting on the project, was atrocious, with long delays for transporting students and large detours. However, the new road is wider, safer and will have less congestion. She said the city is now going to provide a crossing guard at County Road 200S, which will make the area safer.
“I want to give a kudos out to all involved in that project and their professionalism with us and making sure we have an open road with schools starting,” Wetherald said. “They said they were going to do it and they did it.”