New middle school slows down traffic

Back to school traffic
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)

BROOKLAND, AR (KAIT) - With the back to school rush across Region 8, several areas experience some major traffic troubles.

One problem area was the intersection of Highway 49 and School Street in Brookland.

Traffic was reportedly backed up all the way to the newly-built Brookland Middle School.

"It was bumper to bumper in front of the house at like 7:20, and school doesn't even open until after 7:30," said Jeff Broadaway.

Broadaway lives down the road from the new school. He said the traffic has gotten worse and that it has made it hard for him to cross the street to take his daughter to school.

The Brookland High School, however, has seen some relief.

"Traffic should lighten up after the first couple of days of school because the new middle school has been moved off our campus," said Jared Richey, the high school's assistant principal.

Local law enforcement and Mayor Kenneth Jones directed traffic Monday. They said the change in the normal routine has caused a bit of chaos.

"I think it is just the addition of the new school and changing it on us," said Jones. "You throw something new in there, people got to get use to what drop off they need to make first and move around."

Jones said it took about 40 minutes for traffic to settle down and though that was better than what he expected for the first day back to school, he still plans to sit down with school officials and law enforcement to see what traffic improvements need to be made.

The traffic chaos may be stressful on the kids and parents, but it's a celebration for surrounding businesses.

One business that saw a lot of action on the first day back to school was Jordan's Kwik Stop near the intersection of Highway 49 and School Street.

Workers say during the traffic frustrations, families get hungry for breakfast which means a boom in business for the gas station.

"I looked out the window and was like 'Oh my God, traffic is backed up,' and then people started coming in," said Rebecca Hubbard, a cashier. "When traffic is backed up, we get a lot of customers because they don't want to sit in that line."

Jones said he expects the traffic to be a bit crazy for the first two weeks of school.

Copyright 2016 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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