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Airport Road an issue for Flint Hill parents

Many parents of Newton County School System students have made expressed concern over traffic problems caused by a portion of Airport Road being closed.

The road has been off limits to drivers since Sunday when heavy rains flooded the area.

At Tuesday’s BOC meeting, Chairman Keith Ellis said heavy rains flooded the dry creek bed at Airport Road, proving too much for the existing pipes. Ellis said the pipes would be replaced for about $14,000.

The road doesn’t have any visible potholes or other hazards but flood waters eroded what would be under the pavement.

In order to help alleviate the traffic situation, Newton County Sheriff’s Office deputies are assisting with the high volume of traffic for Flint Hill Elementary School parents.

“That will help alleviate the situation somewhat; however, traffic is still expected to back up considerably,” Newton County School System Director of Public Relations Sherri Davis-Viniard said. “Especially during the morning commute, as the roadways in the immediate vicinity will not only be full of school traffic but also daily work commuters.”

Ellis said he hopes to see airport road opened in the next two weeks.

In the meantime, NCSS is encouraging parents of Flint Hill Elementary School students to leave early when driving their children to school. Flint Hill opens at 7 a.m. each school morning.

Viniard said school officers report major traffic backups or delays near the school until after 7:15 a.m.

“This is not something that can be fixed or avoided, even with officers conducting traffic,” Viniard said.
“The longer you wait the more traffic you will encounter.”

Residents of the area of Flint Hill are also asked to use alternate routes that bypass Highway 142 during pick up and drop off times.

The majority of traffic delays have been encountered during the morning commute as roadways are busy with both school and work traffic. Delays in afternoon traffic have not been as severe as the school dismissal time does not coincide with end-of-day work traffic.