Construction improving, widening 159th Street to begin during 2015 school year

Rachel Lock, Web Editor

The backed-up traffic on 159th Street at the beginning of the school day is an issue many students face each morning. A new plan for resolving this traffic problem has been proposed — the widening of 159th Street from two lanes into four and the addition of two new roundabouts. Student Resource Officer Dennis Randall said the new construction plan will be beneficial to students and staff. 
“It’s going to be a mess, but the traffic pattern and flow will be a whole lot quicker and easier,” he said. “Students will be able to come into school a lot quicker.”
The construction is expected to begin the 2015 school year and continue until the start of the next year. Randall said he hopes the construction will be finished before the football season starts or else it will be a nightmare for games.
There will be two three-point roundabouts — one at the West entrance to the school and the other on the far East side. Randall said this will affect the route to school slightly.
“The difference would be the center route — where people come into the center to drop off. They will have to come from Metcalf and come through the circle when they come in. If they come the other way, they are going to have to come past it and go through the circle and come back in,” he said. “[The staff and band parking lot is] going to be closed on the parking lot side. So the only way to get into that lot will be through the roundabout.”
In addition to the new road construction, the parking lots will be worked on as well. The gravel road and parking lot are going to be paved, and parking spots are going to be added.
“I think it’s great — I think it will help the school out immensely,” Randall said. “It’s going to go all the way around the back of the school, and the other road is going to come from it out the side of the building. There [won’t just be] one way in and out — you will have two ways in and out. And we will also have two loops around the school — one existing loop right now, and then there will be the far loop that goes around.”
Despite the complications of construction, Randall said he believes this new plan will fix the traffic flow on 159th Street.
“It should be a pretty good deal,” he said. “It’s going to be a headache during the construction phase. It’s going to be just very problematic — that’s just something we will have to deal with. But after it’s completed, it’s going to be nice and smooth.”