Now that the pedestrian bridge over Sheridan Drive has been deemed unsafe, crossing guards will be stationed at nearby intersections for students walking to and from Hoover Elementary and Middle schools.
Two crossing guards will be stationed at each intersection – Colvin Boulevard and Sheridan and Delaware Road and Sheridan.
“We’re going to be diverting any kids that normally would have gone across in the middle of those two spots and sending them towards Colvin or Delaware Road,” said Lt. Nick Bado of the Town of Tonawanda Police Department.
Officers also will patrol between the intersections during the first week of school to discourage students from trying to cross the busy eight lanes and grassy median of Sheridan by themselves, he said.
Police decided to move the crossing guards stationed at Delaware and Glencove roads and at Colvin and Glencove north one block to Sheridan.
“Those two people slid over and joined two others, so a total of four are going to be out there,” he said.
The Town Board this week also hired two new crossing guards to add to its alternate list.
Some parents in the Ken-Ton School District have expressed concern about students crossing Sheridan in the past. Crossing guards have been stationed at Sheridan’s intersections with Parker and Parkhurst boulevards and Elmwood Avenue.
The district this year has 24 intersections monitored by crossing guards, down from 29 last year. The reduction is due to the closure of Kenmore Middle and Roosevelt Elementary schools.
Meanwhile, the town is still investigating its options for repair, replacement or demolition of the bridge, said Councilman John A. Bargnesi.
The bridge, built in 1966 for $43,000 and is owned and maintained by the town, was closed July 29 after an inspection by the town engineer and highway superintendent.
The state Department of Transportation originally planned to inspect the bridge in November because it spans a state road but completed that inspection last week in response to the closure, Bargnesi said. The results are expected by October and will help determine if the town should pursue a state grant for demolition and replacement.
The situation created by the bridge closure has been lessened somewhat by the fact that more Ken-Ton students are eligible this year for bus service. Elementary students must live at least half a mile from their school to be eligible. That minimum distance is 0.75 miles for middle school, down from 1.5 miles, and 1 mile for high school, down from 1.8 miles.
The district this summer also completed construction of bus loops at Lindbergh Elementary and Kenmore West High School to ease traffic backups on Irving Terrace and Highland Parkway. Edison Elementary is the only one of Ken-Ton’s nine schools without a bus loop.