REPUBLIC, Mo. (KY3/KSPR) - Some drivers in Republic will see traffic changes for the first time as a new school year kicks off Thursday. Work on the new roundabout in front of Republic High School wrapped up at the start of August.
Brad Gripka with the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) said the goal of the roundabout is to connect County Road 103, Route M, and Repmo Drive, which leads into the High School's parking lot. MoDOT's research shows roundabouts make intersections safer by slowing cars down, resulting in less crashes.
MoDOT supplied Republic High School with flyers and links to instructional videos for students so they could educate themselves on how to properly and safely navigate a roundabout.
Gripka said he hopes people have already started adjusting to the change, considering the work finished ahead of schedule. "We were delayed with weather and things like that, it slowed the project down a little bit, but with the contractor's aggressive schedule, combining phases, the contractor was able to open the project one week early," said Gripka.
Gripka also accredited the project's success to the partnership MoDOT had with the Republic School District and the City of Republic.
The Republic Police Department also joined the conversation of back-to-school safety, reminding drivers to allow extra time as people get back into their school year routines.
One intersection officers expressed concerns about is Farm Road 174 and Main Street, near two elementary schools and the Early Childhood Center. Patrol Sergeant Lucas Peery said people should use an alternate route if possible.
Peery said keeping everyone safe during the morning and afternoon rush hours is a team effort. "Kids, if you're crossing the street, be careful," began Peery. "There's going to be a lot more people dropping their kids off than normal and there's going to be a lot of people that aren't used to the school traffic after having a summer away from it."
Lastly, Peery reminded drivers they cannot use the shoulder of a road to pass long lines of cars. Drivers also cannot cut through surrounding businesses parking lots. These actions are a violation of city ordinances and can result in citations.