Unexpected road closure causes delays traffic

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COLUMBIA - A falling storm water culvert left a five-foot deep and two-lane wide hole on Sinclair Road Wednesday morning. 

Temporary repairs started Wednesday afternoon, but according to a City of Columbia press release the road is expected to remain closed for seven to ten days, depending on weather conditions. 

Columbia Public Schools Communications Director Michelle Baumstark said the road closure presents a challenge for the school district. 

"We have an elementary school right there at the corner but also we have buses that use the road to do pick up and drop-off routes for other neighboring schools,” Baumstark said. 

Sinclair Road is near Mill Creek Elementary School, and its closure has school officials anticipating more delays. 

CPS buses work on a tiered system, so it's important to officials to minimize traffic as much as possible. 

"The same buses drive our middle school routes that drive our elementary routes and high school routes," Baumstark said. "So if we have a bus that's late on one tier it's fairly likely that they will be late on the following tier."

CPS devised a quick dismissal plan for students Wednesday and alerted all affected families of the potential issues. 

Scott Boulevard, often used as an alternative connection to Nifong Boulevard, has been closed since August to be widened, forcing motorists to find a different route. 

Columbia Public Works put up detour signs to help drivers navigate the closures and construction. 

"Our focus is making sure that we're able to keep our buses on time so they will have priority when entering and exiting," Baumstark said. 

Schools will also have parent pick-up lines where guardians can pick up their child. 

A map of the road detours and construction can be found on the City of Columbia's website.