Decatur ISD buses having problems with rough roads

- Frustrated parents and a school district trying to help after roads become too rough for even the school bus.

The roads have been deteriorating for some time but are now too bad for even a school bus to safely make it through the Oliver Creek neighborhood in Wise County not far from Rhome.

The roads in the neighborhood are so bad, school buses have run out of room to maneuver. Decatur ISD says buses have been damaged at least five times.

“You can see the potholes buses hit,” said Superintendent Rod Townsend. “And going just 5 and10 miles per hour, kids fly everywhere."

The alternative is to drop all the children off at one spot. Parents say that's not working out either.

“You got 70 that get on one bus with cars trying to get to work not safe,” said parent Alexandra Bohannan. “So splitting it up would be a great idea."

After a personal inspection, the district superintendent says he'll bring the buses closer to the neighborhood and make two or three stops instead of one. But the buses won't travel too far.

"The potholes up there cause the bus to twist,” Townsend said. “And when it does level back, kids swing all the way to one side. That's when their head hits the window or side of the bus.”

Parent Ana Rivera says that's what happened to her 5-year-old Pre-K student.

"She sits by the window so she doesn't get bumped on her head,” she said. “She came home, and her ear was purple the next couple of days."

When the subdivision was built, the roadways were all developed as private roads. Everywhere they turn, residents are told they are responsible for the maintenance. They're so desperate, they've used bags of landscape gravel to plug some of the potholes themselves.

One private estimate to fix the all the potholes would cost more than $150,000.

The school district says it ran into the same situation four years ago. Residents made temporary fixes, but the road conditions have gotten too bad.

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