Closed Idlewild Road causes major traffic congestion

Story by Miracle Okoro, Senior Staff Writer

The Idlewild Road bridge over Independence Boulevard bridge is projected to finally open by the end of March, which could mean that commuters will have a less difficult time getting to and from school, and rush hour won’t be as congested.   

A little over a year ago the bridge extension had the promising facade of a road ready to open and free up traffic. Unfortunately a year and a half later it is still delayed and backing up traffic now more than ever.

The delay was caused by a wave of setbacks. The first setback happened when the original construction company, pulled out of the project, forcing city officials to look for a replacement contractor. In addition to this water line work, and storm drainage work was being done at the same time of construction, and took longer than anticipated to complete. So the road remained closed, causing more than a few problems.

      Commuters that want to go from Rama Road to Idlewild, must take a detour, and go through East Meck parking lot to finally arrive on Idlewild road, when it  saves much more trouble if they go straight, via the bridge, to get onto Idlewild.  This is causing a huge problem with traffic congestion and is making it even harder for students to safely commute to school on time. Drivers that wouldn’t normally pass East Meck are now having to use it as a type of home base, because the Independence Freeway has remained closed. This in turn causes a lot of traffic on our school grounds, because the drivers are not  commuting to the school, but in effect using it as if it were another road.

       Fortunately help is on the way with the bridge opening by the end of the month, and drivers will be able to breathe a sigh of relief.