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Leveling Spotsy High’s entrance

By PAMELA GOULD

The Spotsylvania County  School Board granted the Virginia Department of Transportation a permanent easement at the main entrance to Spotsylvania High School this week so workers can decrease the steep approach to newly opened Lake Anna Parkway.

 VDOT is scheduled to decrease the current grade by about half.

The highway department needed an easement 140 feet long and 5 feet wide so the slope could gradually decrease from the parkway to the parking lot in front of the school.

It has been challenging for drivers entering and exiting the school since classes resumed Aug. 21.

Students who drive to school use a different entrance—one located at the intersection with Post Oak Road, where there is a traffic signal. However, parents, staff and people attending school events, including students, routinely use the main entrance, which has a steep slope as a result of road work in the area.

 School Board member Ray Lora has expressed concern about student safety at both entrances, but especially at the main entrance where the steep approach from the parking lot to Lake Anna Parkway limits visibility.

“It is critical we make this entrance to Spotsylvania High School as safe as humanly possible,” Lora said at Monday’s board meeting.

 A four-mile stretch of the Spotsylvania Courthouse Bypass project opened five days before the start of school. Known as Lake Anna Parkway, that segment stretches from just west of Robert E. Lee Drive to Post Oak Road.

The speed limit there, while it continues to be a work zone, is 45 mph. Once all work is completed next year, the speed limit will be 55 mph.

However, flashing signs have been added since the school year began to announce a speed limit of 35 mph when students are arriving for school and departing.

Donald Upperco, the school division’s executive director of operations, told the School Board at Monday’s meeting that the school speed-limit  signs are now installed and operating.

He also said all work in front of the school is to be completed about Oct. 1.

However, at some point soon, one of the entrances must be closed for a few days for construction.

Upperco said Principal Rusty Davis is working with VDOT to determine the best time for that work.

Pamela Gould: 540/735-1972

pgould@freelancestar.com

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