The following is a release from the Beaufort County school district:
Beaufort County Schools will keep its regular bus schedules in place for Tuesday and will assess today's dismissal routes and tomorrow morning's commute to see if changes are necessary later in the week in light of the closure of the J.E. McTeer Bridge.
A number of bus routes to Beaufort cluster schools were impacted today by heavy traffic on Lady's Island resulting from the bridge closure. Bus routes serving these schools ran from 90 minutes to 3 hours behind schedule in the morning, affecting around 600 students. Fewer and less significant delays were seen on the afternoon bus rides home.
"No one likes to be faced with such a situation, whether you're riding a school bus or driving to work," said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Phillip J. McDaniel. "But we're taking a look at what we've seen today, along with what we might see tomorrow, and making our decisions from there."
McDaniel asked students and parents for their patience and understanding during the area's current traffic woes.
"I believe our government officials and law enforcement personnel are doing all in their power to deal with this right now," McDaniel said. "Our staff will continue to communicate and work with them so that we can minimize the impact of this as much as possible."
Earlier today, Beaufort County Emergency Management officials, the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office and the school district modified traffic patterns to Beaufort High School to help alleviate congestion on Sea Island Parkway (Route 21) on Lady's Island. Alternate routes to the school for both the morning and afternoon have been put in place until further notice, and the school's front entrance on Sea Island Parkway will be closed. These routes for Beaufort High School traffic are:
From Lady's Island, St. Helena Island and beyond: Take Lady's Island Parkway (Route 802); turn right on Rue de Bois (at Butler Marine); proceed past the school's athletic fields to the school.
From the City of Beaufort: Take Sea Island Parkway (Route 21); turn right on Meridian Road and then left on Youmans Road; proceed to athletic fields and turning into the school.
Additionally, school officials are encouraging parents in the district's Beaufort cluster of schools to use of neighborhood carpooling when driving their children to and from school to lessen the area's traffic impact during the bridge's closure.