Marshall County’s board of education approved a state highway department proposal to acquire right-of-way to widen U.S. highways 68 and 641 and upgrade the entrances to the Marshall County High School campus.
Plans call for widening U.S. 68 from two to four lanes along the north border of the campus and widening U.S. 641 from two to three lanes along the east side of the campus, which also houses the Marshall County Technical Center and the board of education offices.
The project will also consolidate two entrances on U.S. 68 into a single one by re-routing High School Road to join with the intersection of the highway with the entrance to Eagle Lake Subdivision.
Traffic lights will be installed at that intersection and at the T-intersection of High School with U.S. 641.
No timetable for construction has been set, but the state is in the process of acquiring property needed to enlarge the right-of-way of the two U.S. highways.
The state will pay $201,590 to the school system for purchase of school property to widen the right-of-way and for temporary easements that will require the use of other sections of property during construction.
The payment also covers modifications necessary to signage, removal of trees on the school property and other necessary actions.
“We are excited about the prospect of improving the entrances to the high school,” said Ricky Jones, director of facilities and transportation. “We think this will make it safer for students and other folks.”
Travel along both highways is regularly congested at the beginning and close of each school day.
Jones said the high school has begun holding students who drive to school in the parking lots until after buses have loaded and left the campus, to get mass transit riders moving more promptly instead of having to wait their turn with hundreds of private automobiles.