SALTILLO – When parents drop their children off at Saltillo Primary School this year, they will find a new traffic pattern.
Cars exiting the school no longer will be allowed to turn left to head south on Highway 45. The school, which made the change for safety reasons, recommends two new ways for those trying to travel south from the school.
Cars can turn right to go north on Highway 45, take the Euclatubba Road exit and cross the highway and re-enter on the southbound side. They also can take Sara Ann Lane, which is south of the school, and get on Highway 145 South before going south on Highway 45.
The school sits directly off of the highway. Principal Ken Smith said there have been concerns about cars crossing the northbound lanes to turn left. Also, sometimes southbound traffic backs up and blocks northbound lanes.
On some mornings, there are 350 to 400 cars coming onto campus, he said.
“It has been a problem,” he said. “There is a lot of traffic there in the mornings. This will take some patience, but we think it is a very efficient move.”
Signs from the Mississippi Department of Transportation and cones will note the changes. Eventually there will be permanent items to prevent cars from making the left turn, he said.
“This is being orchestrated by a lot of different people,” he said. “It comes from community concerns and also from legislators, the Mississippi Department of Transportation and central office, as well as the school. It is everybody working together.”
The procedure won’t change for cars entering the campus or for those leaving it and heading north.
Classes begin on Wednesday for Lee County students. Smith expects the kindergarten to second-grade school to have about 825 students this year.